Richard L. Odom – white, age 29 (re-sentence after appellate reversal)

Sentenced in Shelby County, Tennessee
By: a jury
Date of crime: May 10, 1991
Prosecution’s case/defense response: Odom raped and stabbed to death Mina Ethel Johnson (age 77) in a parking garage in Memphis, TN. While working as a trusty in the Simpson County, Mississippi jail, Odom walked off and hitchhiked to Memphis. He was serving a life sentence in Mississippi for the 1978 murder of Becky Roberts (age 40). Odom was convicted of Johnson’s murder and sentenced to death by three different juries. The first jury sentenced Odom to death in 1992 and the second jury sentenced Odom to death in 1999. The first two death sentences were overturned, on appeal, by the Tennessee Supreme Court. The first death sentence was overturned in 1996 because the crime did not meet the legal definition of heinous, atrocious and cruel. The second death sentence was overturned in 2004 because the court found the state prosecutor should not have been allowed to give the jury graphic, violent details of a prior murder. In this latest resentencing he again received a death sentence.
Prosecutor(s): Amy Weirich
Defense lawyer(s):
Sources: Memphis Commercial Appeal 1/15/08 (2008 WLNR 823216); AP Alert 1/16/08 – MiS 13:13:30;;