Judge Finds Probable Cause in Case of 81 Year Old’s Homicide

DC Superior Court Judge Robert Okun ruled that the evidence against a defendant accused of killing an 81-year-old man is enough to bring his case to trial. 

On Aug. 20, Larry Odoms, 62, was arrested and charged with second-degree murder for his alleged connection in the death of 81-year-old Dennis Stroy.

During the Aug. 18 preliminary hearing, the lead detective on the case testified that, when questioned, Odoms said the victim attacked him while he was sleeping, prompting him to strike the man twice and shove him away.

Defense attorney, Wole Falodun argued that there were two other males in the room at the time of the murder and none of them could identify Odoms as the perpetrator. Additionally, he said that Odoms’ fingerprints weren’t found on the victim’s bed’s guardrails.

In response, the prosecutor said the guardrails were tested a month after the murder and numerous other people may have touched them in the interim. 

She also said Odoms stabbed two people in the neck previously with a knife while he was living in a group home, but he wasn’t charged with the crime because he was determined to be incompetent.

As an alternative, Odoms was kept at Saint Elizabeths Hospital, DC’s psychiatric institution, for a year before being transferred to the Deanwood Rehabilitation and Wellness Center after his discharge. The murder took place nine months after the defendant was transferred. 

After making a finding of probable cause for the charge of second-degree murder, Judge Okun denied releasing Odoms, citing intent. 

“There is no identity issue because Odoms has admitted that he did strike the decedent,” the judge said.

On Feb. 21, Metropolitan Police Department officers responded to the Deanwood Rehabilitation and Wellness Center for reports of an assault. Upon arrival, officers found 81-year-old Dennis Stroy sitting on the bed. His skull was bleeding from the left side. He was placed in hospice care on March 17 after losing the ability to swallow on his own. He had little consciousness and poor mental function. He was pronounced dead on March 20.  The cause of death was ruled as blunt force trauma. 

Odoms is scheduled to appear back in court on Sept. 6.

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