Maggie Daniels Accused Killer Appears in Court

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by Will Kennedy
Bio | Email | Follow: @willkennedynews by Photojournalist Chris Keimig

NEWTON, NC -- A popular high school guidance counselor murdered. Her accused killer has a history of charges for rape, robbery and strangulation, but no convictions on those charges.

Monday, Newton Police talked for the first time about how Maggie Daniels died, and how they caught their man.

"Autopsy results of Ms. Daniels' body confirmed she died of strangulation."

Those words from Newton Police Cheif Donald Brown at a Monday press conference, the same day Sharman Odom made his first court appearance, charged with the murder of Maggie Daniels.

Odom's record shows a laundry list of charges in Mecklenburg County, including arrests for rape, robbery and home invasion in 2010, and rape and robbery in 2012. Both of those incidents involved assault by strangulation. In both cases, the charges were dropped.

Chief Brown confirmed that Maggie Daniels was strangled to death, and that it's possible she was raped.

"We are still waiting for some results from the crime lab to determine if she was, or if she was not, sexually assaulted," said Brown.

Even though Sharman Odom lived in the complex just a short walk away from Maggie Daniels' apartment, police say there was no relationship between the victim and her alleged killer.

Newton Police and the SBI identified Odom as a suspect early on, interviewing him July 3, and noting that he was missing hair near his forehead.

Search warrants show investigators recovered several key pieces of evidence from Odom's apartment a few weeks later, including a section of what appears to be his hair in a shoe box in a closet. It may have been pulled out in a struggle with Daniels. And Odom's iPhone with three pictures taken June 28 showing scratches on his face. 

"The day that Maggie's body was discovered, he had taken a selfie of himself which revealed those scratches and marks on his face," Brown told the media.

Brown also confirmed that Odom is not the person referenced in a tweet from Maggie Daniels a year ago about a neighbor who concerned her.

"We located that individual. We interviewed that individual. And we have eliminated him completely," he told reporters.

The question so many have: why were those previous charges against Odom dropped?

We asked the Mecklenburg County District Attorney's office to talk with us. A spokeswoman declined, citing Odom's pending charges and his "right to a fair trial."

Sharman Odom will make his next court appearance August 25.

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