Homeowner thwarts home invasion robbery attempt, suspect identif - WNEM TV 5

Homeowner thwarts home invasion robbery attempt, suspect identified

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Jesse Odell (Source: OTIS) Jesse Odell (Source: OTIS)
TAWAS CITY, MI (WNEM) -

"I thought I was going to die for sure," said the Tawas City homeowner, who asked not to be identified.  

He spent most of the day scrubbing blood stains from the cabinets and floors of his modest house on a street so quiet that he had to run door to door after firing several shots just to tell someone what had happened.

"I was watching TV and suddenly there was a knife at my throat," the 66-year-old man said.

He lives alone and smiled as he described the house as a "storage unit" where he sleeps.

"They wore masks. The bigger guy demanded money and guns. I'm thinking 'how did he know I had money and guns," he said.

He kept scrubbing the back stairs and walkway, trying to remove the blood as he spoke.  

"They tried to get me into the bathroom, but I wasn't having it. I thought they'd kill me for sure if I went in there," he said. "I thought about running for the back door, but they were younger and would have caught me and stabbed me to death by the time I hit the stairs."

When they came close to his bedroom, the homeowner said he decided to "go for it." His 30.06 hunting rifle was near the bed, loaded.

"I shoved the guy and went for the rifle. I just grabbed it and fired," he said.

Jesse Allen Odell, a 21-year-old Oscoda man, the man who had held a knife to the homeowner's throat, was killed. His 29-year-old accomplice, also from Oscoda, was struck in the thigh and is expected to recover after being airlifted to a Saginaw hospital. He faces a slew of felony charges.

The homeowner is convinced it was not a random robbery attempt.

 "They knew I had money in the house and guns," he said.  

He said he didn't know the robbers, but he thinks he knows how they came to target him.

He told TV5 that Michigan State Police are searching for his cleaning woman who knew he had cash and guns at his home, and may have tipped off the suspects.

When investigators complete their report, the case will be reviewed by the Iosco County Prosecutor's Office to determine if charges will be filed against the homeowner.  

"There was nothing else I could do," he said.

Odell was on probation in a drug case, we are told the other suspect also has a criminal record.

To read more about the incident click here.

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