Crime

August 18, 2014

Suspect in Maggie Daniels’ death indicted on murder, sexual assault charges

The man suspected in the death of Newton high school counselor Maggie Daniels has been indicted by a grand jury on murder, first-degree sexual offense and first-degree kidnapping charges, the District Attorney’s Office said Monday.

The man suspected in the death of Newton high school counselor Maggie Daniels has been indicted by a grand jury on murder, first-degree sexual offense and first-degree kidnapping charges, the District Attorney’s Office said Monday.

Sharman Howard Odom, 34, of Newton, was taken into custody by police Aug. 2 at his mother’s house in Winston-Salem. At the time Daniels died, Odom and Daniels lived in the same apartment complex, police said.

Daniels, 31, was found dead in her Newton apartment June 28. Police said she had been strangled.

Newton police Chief Donald Brown II said investigators had focused on Odom after they searched his iPhone 5 and found three photos he took of himself June 28, the day Daniels’ body was found.

In the photos, he had scratches on his right nostril and below his left eye.

“The injuries appeared pink, suggesting they were new,” according to a search warrant in the case. And during a July search of Odom’s apartment, investigators discovered what they believe was a section of his hair.

Brown said there appeared to be a struggle in Daniels’ apartment. He said the suspect and victim apparently didn’t know each other.

Odom was born in Charlotte and lived there until 2012, when he moved to Newton to be closer to his mother, according to his family.

He was charged with crimes in 2010 and 2012, but both cases were dismissed.

Daniels grew up in a Cleveland suburb and moved to North Carolina in 2005 after graduating from Notre Dame College in the Cleveland area. She taught English and coached basketball at Newton-Conover High School and was named teacher of the year in 2011.

She went to Discovery High School in Newton in 2013 as a counselor.

Odom’s mother, Darlene, was arrested on assault charges Aug. 4 after her son’s initial court appearance in Newton, and an altercation between her and news reporters.

The District Attorney’s Office said Sharman Odom is being held without bond at the Catawba County Detention Facility, with a trial date set for Oct. 6.

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