Judge Won't Drop Count Against Odom

Times Staff Writer

A Superior Court judge on Friday denied a motion to dismiss one of two counts against John (Blue Moon) Odom for allegedly selling cocaine to a co-worker, but the former major league pitcher's attorney said he was confident that Odom would ultimately prove his innocence.

Superior Court Judge Linda H. McLaughlin refused to grant a motion by Odom's attorney, Stephan A. DeSales, to dismiss one of the two counts because of insufficient evidence.

McLaughlin set a pretrial hearing for March 14 and the trial for March 17.

Odom, 40, is accused of selling cocaine to a fellow worker last May 17 and again on May 24 at the now-defunct Xerox Corp. computer plant in Irvine, where he worked for six years. The former Oakland A's pitcher, who appeared in three World Series, was suspended from his job shortly after the arrest.

Undaunted by Ruling

Attorney DeSales said he was undaunted by McLaughlin's ruling.

"The motion was denied, but that's not the end of the world," he said after the hearing. "Very frankly, I have a very strong feeling that there will be a way to get these (cocaine) sales charges dropped at the next hearing.

"And if we go to trial, I'm confident that we can beat this thing."

Odom, who went fishing after the hearing and caught a five-pound bass, also said he thought that he would be vindicated.

"I'm very optimistic about it," he said. "For the first time, I feel good about this case. I know I'm telling the truth."

DeSales also said that the district attorney's office does not have a strong case against Odom, who has been out of a job since he was arrested last year.

'Quality of Evidence'

"I think it is safe to say that the (district attorney's office) is being very careful at looking at the quality of the evidence at this point," he said.

Friday's court appearance was the second for Odom this week. On Wednesday, he appeared before West County Municipal Judge Sarah Jones in Westminster on five misdemeanor charges stemming from an attack on his wife, Gayle, 33, at their Fountain Valley apartment on Dec. 10.

Odom has claimed the attack, in which his wife was not seriously injured, was prompted by his depression over not finding employment.

Jones ordered Odom to enroll in the county Probation Department's domestic violence diversion program. DeSales said Odom, who has been undergoing private counseling since early January, will be evaluated by the Probation Department within 10 days.

"He's done everything that he has to so far. He is going to counseling. All he needs is a job," DeSales said.

Copyright © 2019, Los Angeles Times
EDITION: California | U.S. & World