Victim forgives assailants after attack
Douglas Odums went back to work last week after taking three months of sick time from a job he has held for approximately 30 years.
Odums sustained multiple injuries when a personal friend and an accomplice attacked him during an armed robbery.
In April, Jetravias (Trey) Miguel Maddox, 22, and Larry (Li Cat) Jefferson, 26, were charged with attempted first degree murder and armed robbery of Odums, who is 66. He has been a Minden resident for approximately 45 years.
Some of Odums' injuries included hemorrhaged vessels in the eyes from being choked, a broken arm and other cuts and bruises from being beaten several times with a .22 rifle.
"My arm was broke in two, and now it has a plate in it," Odums said. "It gives me fits and causes some pain, and it has not got strong enough to take too much pressure."
Odums said while he is back at work, he is still in pain and has more healing to do.
"It's just going take time and working with it to get it back like it was," he said. "But, I'm thankful I'm alive."
Odums not only has thanks for the outcome, but also forgiveness for the men who beat and robbed him, one of whom he has known for years.
"I ain't even mad with him (Maddox)," he said. "I don't trust him and he can't come to my house no more, for sure. I want so much for him and have been trying to help him a long time – but you get around bad influences and things happen.
"There isn't a way I can help him now," Odums continued. "He got off on the wrong foot, with the wrong people. Bad things happen when you're with the wrong people."
Odums remembers how the bad situation developed and how a choice saved his life.
"The other fellow (Jefferson) – he was talking about killing me," Odums said. "I had fought those two young men as hard as I can fight, and then I just went to praying and asked the Lord to save me.
"You know, the Lord is powerful," he continued. "I was beat down, passing in and out. When I was conscious, I would just call on the Lord."
Odums said he asked God if the robbery would be the end of his life.
"I asked Him, 'You gonna let me die like this? After all I've done to try and help this child?'
"And you would not believe what happened," Odums continued. "Just at that instant, the boy turned me loose and went to crying. The other fella, told Trey 'Let's kills this old --- and get out of here."
Odums asked Trey if he wanted to kill an old man.
"'If you don't, throw him (Jefferson) out the house,' I told him. And he did – he threw him out the house and took me to the hospital."
The events of April 22 have caused more than physical damage to Odums.
"It changed me a whole lot," he said. "I'm real paranoid now. Anything bumps or pops and I'm ready to go to shooting. Because if there is a next time, I'll be the one to do the shooting and whooping."
Odums feels traumatic events, like the one he went through, change a person's outlook on people.
"You think you have friends, but you really don't feel like you have any friends because you really can't trust no one no more."
Before, Odums considered Maddox a friend.
"I been knowing him for seven or eight years," he said. "I worked him with me and I helped him all the time. In fact, he owed me 700 or 800 dollars."
Odums blames circumstance and poor choices for Maddox's behavior and said he is saddened by Maddox's choices.
"It is really the dope and stuff that ruin our young people," he said. "I really liked the kid, too. He wasn't but about 20 years old and had a whole future ahead of him.
"But the stuff he got into – he ended up taking out his own life. Now, he is likely to end up 30 years in the pen (penitentiary) for this foolishness."
Odoms feels young people need to learn to see past their problems and situations.
"A lot of times people can't see the forest for the trees," he said. "There are things out there to help these young people, but they don't stop to think it out and see how they can fix their situation because they can only see the problem."