published Friday, July 18th, 2014

Hearings today for three charged in McMinn killing

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    Thomas P. Odum, 48; Martha A. Thompson, 42; and Amanda L. Britnell, 34

Three suspects in the July 4 slaying of a 20-year-old man in McMinn County, Tenn., were arrested early Thursday morning in Athens by the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation and county deputies.

Michael W.T. "Tyler" Womack's grandmother found him shot to death at a neighbor's home on County Road 172. The house was reported to have been burglarized, according to the initial police report.

Tenth District Attorney General Steve Crump asked TBI special agents to investigate on July 15.

In a news release, McMinn Sheriff Joe Guy said officers "found and collected trace evidence at the scene that eventually led to the arrest of the three suspects."

Thomas P. Odum, 48; Martha A. Thompson, 42; and Amanda L. Britnell, 34, were arrested without incident at the home shared by Thompson and Britnell. Each admitted to their participation in the crime, Guy's release said.

Investigators believe Womack pulled up to the neighbor's house and found Odum, Britnell and Thompson burglarizing an outbuilding on the property. It is believed that Odum shot Womack and then all three fled, Guy said.

All three suspects are being held in the McMinn County Jail and have felony arraignment hearings this morning.

Each of the suspects has a criminal record, and each now faces charges of first-degree murder, burglary, aggravated burglary, theft over $1,000 and conspiracy to commit murder.

Odum has an additional charge of being a felon in possession of a firearm.

Contact staff writer Kendi Anderson at or at 423-757-6592.

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