A traffic stop on Saturday for a turn-signal violation turned up an Ellijay man who was wanted by Murray County Sheriff's Office deputies for reportedly stabbing his ex-girlfriend and threatening to kill her, her husband and three children in September of last year.
Joshua Eugene Odom, 29, of 3656 Chatsworth Highway, is charged with five counts of terroristic threats and acts, three counts of cruelty to children in the first degree (causing excessive mental pain), three counts of cruelty to children in the third degree, battery (family violence), felony theft by taking (motor vehicle), reckless driving and fleeing or attempting to elude a police officer for a felony offense.
Odom is being held without bond at the Murray County jail awaiting a bond hearing today in Superior Court. In addition to the current charges, records from Gilmer County show arrests in 2017 for possession of meth, 2015 for DUI and traffic charges, and a 2011 arrest on probation violation charges.
Odom had outstanding warrants in Murray County from an incident on Sept. 18 which according to the incident report from the sheriff’s office included Odom stabbing his ex-girlfriend in the lower arm with an ink pen. The report also said he threatened the ex-girlfriend, her husband and three children with a .22-caliber rifle.
According to the report, the trouble began when Erica Smith and her husband Anthony went to pick up Erica Smith’s three children, who were with Odom, the father of the children. Odom had Anthony Smith’s car, a 1998 Oldsmobile Cutlass. Anthony Smith told a deputy Odom wouldn’t give the car back when they went to get the kids and Odom "became violent and started cursing" Erica Smith and threatened to “beat up” Anthony Smith in front of the kids.
He said Odom went inside and came back out with the rifle and pointed it at them and “stated he wasn’t playing.” Erica Smith “attempted to gain control” and Odom stabbed her with the pen. The couple then left with the three children, leaving the car with Odom.
While they were talking with a deputy and a Chatsworth Police Department officer who had responded, Odom drove past in the Cutlass, according to the report. The Chatsworth officer left in pursuit, resulting in a "high-speed" chase but Odom got away.
According to the report, Odom then called Erica Smith and threatened her, with a deputy listening to the call on speakerphone.
“I’m gonna take care of all of y’all,” Odom said, according to the report. “I’m gonna kill you all for giving my name to the police.”
The report said the children were present during the conversation and “became upset shaking and crying.”
The deputy asked Erica Smith to call back and see if they could get the car back and his location and Odom told her, “You can get it back in pieces.”
Reached by phone Tuesday, Erica Smith said she is happy Odom has been caught, and the couple still do not have the Cutlass. She said the car was abandoned in Gilmer County and is being held by the Gilmer County Sheriff’s Office.
“He apparently got into a chase in Gilmer County and ditched the car in Ellijay and took off running through the woods,” Erica Smith said. “They say I can’t have it back until we pay a $250 fee. I don’t feel like I should have to pay it.”
An official with the Gilmer County Sheriff’s Office said the fee is a standard towing fee and could also include charges for storing the vehicle.