New Trial Granted for Man Convicted o...

New Trial Granted for Man Convicted of Killing Deputy

There are 54 comments on the WLTX Columbia story from Sep 11, 2007, titled New Trial Granted for Man Convicted of Killing Deputy. In it, WLTX Columbia reports that:

A man convicted of murder for killing an off-duty law officer who was shooting cats on the man's property should get a new trial.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at WLTX Columbia.

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confucious

La Habra, CA

#43 Jan 15, 2010
Mr. Rye's mistake was to let mitchell and that other guy go. He should have shot all 3 of them.
rozShoem

United States

#44 Jan 15, 2010
An after thought. It is difficult to believe that these two individuals had limited their violent acts of killing defenseless cats only on the property of Mr. Rye. They were not pre-teens or teens.... behaviors of this type often have a history of beginning earlier in life. There is usually a previous, ongoing history of injuring, killing animals. I believe Mr. Rye had testified that Odum had pointed the assault weapon at him. I'm curious if there were any unsolved murders (people being found dead of gunshot wounds on their own property)prior to Odum's death. For those who enjoy killing, killing is often not limited, restricted to a one-time incident. It's likely that Mr. Rye would be dead had he not been able to defend himself.
crystal

United States

#45 Jan 15, 2010
john wrote:
anyone who thinks shooting a man over cats is not right in the head. Physical evidence has the deceased's gun on safe, he was shot twice in the back, once in the arm and once in the neck. Eyewitness testomony referenced the man had his left hand in the air in a surrendering position, his right hand on the gun handle trying to lay it down which cooberates the physical evidence. Further, Thomas Rye had made statements to police that he was going to shoot somebody over this and was specifically told not to shoot somebody over cats. He also did not wait at the road for police but rather went looking for a fight. The property was not his normal place of habitation but instead an overgrown dump that he just happened to own and became incensed over people tresspassing on his property. His defense of "Habitation and Castle Doctrine" does not work in this case. What he did was get mad that people were shooting feral cats on his property and he went looking for a fight. He found it and murdered a man over it. No matter which way you slice it he killed the man as if he ordered him to his knees and executed him. What a shameful and sinister act.
Mr Rye made comments to the police he would protect his property, which included his beloved animals, and we all have that right. He had reported it several times to no avail, the lat time he was there, it had happened yet again/ He again notified authorities and was waiting at the road for officers, until he heard approximately 70 rounds, which neighbors also heard. It was then he went to investigate, upon which he found trespassers, one which was armed/ If it was on safety, hoe was Mr rye to know, also if you are carrying a gun on YOUR property and see someone else on your property, HONESTLY, what would you do. Allow them to kill you first........on your property. I think not. Had the man been unarmed, I can see this being murder. The evidence was there, though and it is sad a life ended. I am grateful Mr rye got fair trial and hopefully this will ward others from trespassing, killing animals, and carrying weapons around for unknown reasons. Mason Mitchell should be held accountable for some type of manslaughter along with animal cruelty. Very few "young" deputies take their position seriously and think its cool to be allowed to carry a gun, therefor act in an inmature nature that will lead to an unfortuante death, as so in this instance. My hert goes out to both families, but justice was served. As far as him looking for a fight, you dont look for a fight on your own property unless they live there to. No one has a right to be on anyones property. As for if he pleaded for his life, no one knows the truth, and its apparent you cant trust Mason, his friend, after his numerous lies; he is the reason this happened anyway. its obvious it was in self defense.
IDONTBELIEVE

Bluffton, SC

#46 Jan 15, 2010
The more I think about it, the more I realize why Mr. Rye was on trial in the first place. The answer to that is politics, pure and simple. Sheriffs in South Carolina are elected officials, and have to answer to the voters. I live in Beaufort County where Odam was a deputy, and when this happened the Sheriff here treated Odam like he was a fallen hero which included a funeral complete with a flag-draped coffin and a police honor guard. Law Enforcement Officers from all over the state came and gave him a procession to his grave...If the voters here had known the truth (they were burying a felon) there would have been talk. So in order to maintain appearances, they decided to hang Grover Rye, regardless of the truth or the law.

Since: Apr 09

Location hidden

#47 Jan 15, 2010
rozShoem wrote:
An after thought. It is difficult to believe that these two individuals had limited their violent acts of killing defenseless cats only on the property of Mr. Rye. They were not pre-teens or teens.... behaviors of this type often have a history of beginning earlier in life. There is usually a previous, ongoing history of injuring, killing animals. I believe Mr. Rye had testified that Odum had pointed the assault weapon at him. I'm curious if there were any unsolved murders (people being found dead of gunshot wounds on their own property)prior to Odum's death. For those who enjoy killing, killing is often not limited, restricted to a one-time incident. It's likely that Mr. Rye would be dead had he not been able to defend himself.
I think you are absolutely right. I doubt any charges would have been filed against Odum if Mr.Rye had been the one shot. It is so sad that the Ryes had to spend their life savings on this mess. It would be great if he was compensated for all those months he spent in prison.
The police department let Mr. Rye down, AND when he was forced to defend himself they wanted to call him a vigilante! I think I read that the weasel was charged w/ animal cruelty (small fine),but I'm not certain if that's all the charges. I want to know why that numbskull wasn't charged with perjury! His lies helped put an innocent man in prison for ten months.
Oh Well

United States

#48 Jan 16, 2010
If the off duty deputy would have shot and killed Grover Rye first in the shootout the deputy would have claimed he didn't know Grover was in the area while shooting at the cats and it was a total accident and gotten off scott free!(without a trial)
Reid Stewart

Simpsonville, SC

#49 Jan 20, 2010
Just became aware of this incident watching court TV, and am floored by the circumstances.

I know Grover Rye from the 90's when we worked for different branches of the Noland Co; Rye in Columbia, and I in Spartanburg. I've interacted with him over several years, and I can promise all posters that Rye is not, according to one post, a sociopath that should have been locked up prior to this tragic incident. Nor is he one to seek out the opportunity to pull the trigger on another human being. He was armed with a WWII era .30 carbine, which is much LESS powerful or intimidating than an AR-15. Having done law enforcement, I will promise you that there are sometimes only a split second to react, and Mr. Rye had no law enforcement training. Is it a good thing Odum is dead? Of course not! Knowing Rye, I can promise you that he hates the fact that he felt the need to fire.

But the bottom line here is this: if these people had not been trespassing on Rye's property, would anyone be dead? Of course, the answer is no. If any feel the need to pin blame, then pin it on Odum's in laws, who convinced Odum that shooting stray cats for fun at that spot was OK.

I doubt that Grover will get a red cent from the state, however, I do hope that he's able to retrieve his carbine, now that he's been aquitted, and it's no longer needed for evidence. That would be the least that Richland County could do, as it is quite a collector's piece.

Grover, stay strong.
Andrew Wiggin

Mineral City, OH

#50 Jan 21, 2010
Reid Stewart..."He was armed with a WWII era .30 carbine, which is much LESS powerful or intimidating than an AR-15."

Reid, while I agree with the overall sentiment in your post I will quarrel with you on this statement. While Mr. Rye's lawyer did a good and clever job using the (quote unquote) assault rifle status of Odom's A.R. 15 in the trial, functionally a semi-automatic ww2 era .30 caliber rifle is exactly the same as an AR 15, and fires a much heavier and more lethal round. A .223 is only barely adequate to hunt American whitetailed deer with. A 30.06 or a .308 (the caliber of what Mr. Rye used) is easily heavy enough for game as large as grizzly bears or African water buffalo. It's true that the AR 15 looks a lot scarier to a jury, but only because the media has created the notion that "assault rifles" are evil and scary, while good old american semi-automatic rifles from ww2 are only good for hunting, and aren't dangerous.

The truth is a single round from a .223 through your torso is a lot less likeley to kill you than a single round from a 30.06/.308
Andrew Wiggin

Mineral City, OH

#51 Jan 21, 2010
P.S. The .223 round is just about the exact right size for killing cats. I found that ironic. I told Mr. Rye, that if I had been on his jury, and believed the prosecution was correct (that he had murdered Odom in cold blood), I stii would have voted to aquit, because I think ten months in prison is enough time to punish a guy for killing a guy who shoots up your house and kills your pets.

I'm sorry to Odom's family if they're reading this, but it's true. He was a young thug who had killing coming. You should have whipped his ass while he was little. Maybe then he'd treat elderly men with respect instead of shooting up their house and killing their pets.
John Burg

Austin, TX

#52 Jan 29, 2010
Even if Odam wasn't shot can you imagine the harassment that would have followed by the local Po Po.They have a different way of dealing with things in those parts.Case in point they didn't deal with it at all.It's the good ol boy mentality.I think that the police should be on trial.If they had done their job in the first place we wouldn't be posting these blogs and Odam at worst would have lost his job not his life.
mpk

United States

#53 Feb 6, 2010
Andrew Wiggin wrote:
Reid Stewart..."He was armed with a WWII era .30 carbine, which is much LESS powerful or intimidating than an AR-15."
Reid, while I agree with the overall sentiment in your post I will quarrel with you on this statement. While Mr. Rye's lawyer did a good and clever job using the (quote unquote) assault rifle status of Odom's A.R. 15 in the trial, functionally a semi-automatic ww2 era .30 caliber rifle is exactly the same as an AR 15, and fires a much heavier and more lethal round. A .223 is only barely adequate to hunt American whitetailed deer with. A 30.06 or a .308 (the caliber of what Mr. Rye used) is easily heavy enough for game as large as grizzly bears or African water buffalo. It's true that the AR 15 looks a lot scarier to a jury, but only because the media has created the notion that "assault rifles" are evil and scary, while good old american semi-automatic rifles from ww2 are only good for hunting, and aren't dangerous.
The truth is a single round from a .223 through your torso is a lot less likeley to kill you than a single round from a 30.06/.308
MPK adds: This gentlemen is, I believe, mistaken. Mr. Rye had 30 caliber carbine. That round is thirty caliber, but it is absolutely ANEMIC compared to the mighty 308 or the big boss 30.06. Go read some history on the carbine... troops did not appreciate it's lack of firepower. The Garand was a heavier and bigger rifle by far, but it packed that 30.06 whallop. By my reckoning,(been shooting and reloading most of my life and I'm 64), the 223 and the 30 carbine round are both about the same, but the 223 has a considerably higher muzzle velocity.
Bottom line: For ME, if I couldn't have a 30.06 (Garand M1 or a .308 (for the M14, which is basicallly a Garand with a clip that installs from the bottom), I'd opt for the 223. Out of the four rounds, I'd call the 30 caliber carbine round the most anemic of the lot.
mpk

United States

#54 Feb 6, 2010
Andrew Wiggin wrote:
P.S. The .223 round is just about the exact right size for killing cats. I found that ironic. I told Mr. Rye, that if I had been on his jury, and believed the prosecution was correct (that he had murdered Odom in cold blood), I stii would have voted to aquit, because I think ten months in prison is enough time to punish a guy for killing a guy who shoots up your house and kills your pets.
I'm sorry to Odom's family if they're reading this, but it's true. He was a young thug who had killing coming. You should have whipped his ass while he was little. Maybe then he'd treat elderly men with respect instead of shooting up their house and killing their pets.
MPK adds: I very much disagree that a 223 is "just about the right size" for killing cats. IT's OVERKILL. A plain old 22 rifle sporting some medium to high velocity ammunition is all you need. A 223 is OVERKILL and also the ammo is EXPENSIVE compared to a 22.
And WHO wants to KILL cats?? Not me.
I have plenty of LEO's among my lifelong friends. They are NOT amused by guys like this dead leo. He was a disgrace to his badge. I try to respect leo's, but guys like this make me shake my head. BAD COP! It all comes down to the local leo's not doing their job when called to do it.
Andrew Wiggin

Mineral City, OH

#55 Feb 14, 2010
mpk wrote:
<quoted text>
MPK adds: This gentlemen is, I believe, mistaken. Mr. Rye had 30 caliber carbine. That round is thirty caliber, but it is absolutely ANEMIC compared to the mighty 308 or the big boss 30.06. Go read some history on the carbine...
A quick google suggests to me that I should tip my hat to your superior knowledge. I was mistaking the carbine for the Garand. And FWIW, I wasn't suggesting that you SHOULD kill cats, but rather that an AR 15 would be effective if you did want to kill cats.
Andrew Wiggin

Mineral City, OH

#56 Feb 14, 2010
P.S.

[i]MPK adds: This gentlemen is, I believe, mistaken...[/i]

Tip of my hat to you. This is a good example of [i]proper[/i] South Carolina manners regarding disagreement,

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