The lawyer representing the Batavia high school football player accused of stabbing his teammate says his client should be let out of jail.
According to Frank Houch, Antwan Odom’s lawyer, a preliminary hearing was never set for the star Batavia high school football and basketball player and therefore by law he should be released.
Houch says the judge wrongfully increased bail for the 18-year-old and is illegally holding him in the Genesee County Jail.
Odom is accused of stabbing his football teammate Raymond Leach on Ross Street August 4.
According to police, the argument turned violent after Leach accused Odom of stealing from him.
Leach was taken to the hospital and later released.
“For a young man of 18 to be under probation supervision while the case is pending, I think it’s completely appropriate,” Houch said. “The first judge thought it was appropriate but for some reason, because he was arrested but not convicted of an unrelated charge which you are not allowed to consider, they are using that against him.”
Judge Robert Balbick increased Antwan’s bond from $15,000 bail to $50,000 on August 6.
According to the defense, the judge unjustly based his decision on another felony charge Odom is facing.
Houch says this has never happened in his 25 years of practice.
“What the judge was saying is that he would have to appeal the decision to not release the defendant for the failure to get a preliminary hearing,” said Genesee County District Attorney Lawrence Friedman. “The judge didn’t say he was never going to give him a preliminary hearing. The judge did what I feel like he needed to do at that point. Now a hearing has been requested and he scheduled it.”
The defense plans to appeal Odom’s bail amount during his next court appearance Monday.
It is still unclear if Odom will be allowed to play for Batavia High School this season, a decision that will be up to the school district to make.