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Saturday, November 1, 1997

Juvenile suspect in murder case declared delinquent

FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) -- A 15-year-old suspect accused of helping rob and stab two women to death was declared delinquent of capital murder Thursday, the equivalent of being found guilty in the adult system.

Eddie Washington of Fort Worth was sent to the Texas Youth Commission for an indeterminate period after a hearing before state District Judge Jean Hudson Boyd.

Prosecutor Jetta Keene said during the hearing that there was not enough evidence to certify Washington to stand trial as an adult. Washington participated in robbing the women, but did not help torture them on Oct. 15, Ms. Keene said.

Preliminary autopsy results showed that Norma Odom, 21, died of multiple blunt and sharp force injuries, including stab wounds and a fractured skull, with ligature strangulation. Her roommate and sister-in-law, 23-year-old Alma Solis, died of multiple stab wounds in the back, the autopsy report indicated.

Police say they were killed during a rampage led by Mrs. Odom's brother-in-law and including two other men and Washington.

The men talked their way into the apartment the women shared, where the victims were tortured, Mrs. Odom was raped and both women were stabbed, police say. The apartment was then set on fire, and the 4-year-old son of Ms. Solis escaped with extensive burns on his chest and hands.

Charged in the case were James Odom, 24, the brother of Mrs. Odom's husband; David Grismore, 21; and Waylon Harris, 18, all of Fort Worth.

Details of the attack were read at Washington's hearing Thursday.

In a statement James Odom gave to the police shortly after his arrest, he described his words to Mrs. Odom as she lay bleeding from multiple stab wounds.

"I told her I didn't want her money; I wanted her life because I hated her with all my heart," Odom is quoted as saying to police. "I commenced to punching her and stabbing her and left her on the floor."

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