Dane County man faced string of bail-jumping and other criminal charges with possible 162 years in custody
To study bail jumping in Wisconsin, WJI and the Mastantuono Coffee & Thomas law firm are looking county by county at 2021 bail-jumping charges. Which counties are charging bail jumping the most? Who are some of the defendants? What happens to those cases? We'll report the statistics from individual counties and tell you the stories from randomly chosen cases.
Total number of cases with bail-jumping charges: 1,324
Total number of misdemeanor and felony cases: 5,611
Percent of misdemeanor and felony cases that include bail-jumping charges: 24%
Total number of felony cases with bail-jumping charges: 1,046*
Total number of all felony cases: 3,033
Percent of felony cases that include bail-jumping charges: 35%
Total number of misdemeanor cases with bail-jumping charges: 278
Total number of all misdemeanor cases: 2,578
Percent of misdemeanor cases that include bail-jumping charges: 11%
Largest number of bail-jumping charges issued in a single case: 36
Number of felony bail-jumping charges issued: 888
Number of misdemeanor bail-jumping charges issued: 36
*Felony cases can include felony or misdemeanor bail-jumping charges or both; misdemeanor cases can include only misdemeanor bail-jumping charges. Case counts reported as of January 2022. Criminal traffic cases are not included in this analysis.
Random selection of a bail-jumping case this time reveals criminal behavior and bail-jumping charges spanning seven criminal complaints over about 17 months.
Danion Odell’s bail-jumping troubles began with a complaint alleging that in April 2020 in Monona, Odell put his girlfriend in a chokehold during a physical altercation. Odell was charged on May 11, 2020, with strangulation and suffocation, as an act of domestic abuse and as a repeater. The felony charge carried a penalty of up to $10,000 in fines and six years in prison. A domestic-abuse repeater allegation increased the potential imprisonment by two years, and Odell’s felony repeater status based on the 2018 burglary increased it by another four years.
Odell had prior convictions in 2018 for felony burglary of a building or dwelling, misdemeanor domestic-abuse battery, and misdemeanor criminal damage to property.
Dane County Circuit Court Commissioner Scott McAndrew released Odell on a $500 signature bond, with conditions that he not contact the victim or use or possess controlled substances without a valid prescription. By statute, in all felony cases the conditions of release also include that the person not commit any new crime.
The strangulation case remained pending a year later, when on May 8, 2021, police in Waunakee received a report of a man walking on the sidewalk slapping his face, stumbling, and yelling incoherently. Another report came in that the same man entered a parked white Jeep Compass.
Responding officers found Odell sitting in the driver’s seat of the Jeep. His speech was confused and his pupils were constricted. The officers asked Odell if he wanted emergency medical services and Odell said yes.
Odell was holding a plastic bag in his right hand, which the officers suspected to be heroin. Field testing confirmed it.
Odell was charged in late May 2021 with possession of narcotics, plus felony bail jumping for violating his release conditions from the strangulation case.
Misdemeanor bail jumping occurs when a person out on bond on a misdemeanor charge violates the conditions of that bond. Felony bail jumping occurs when a person out on bond on a felony charge violates the conditions of that bond.
Odell’s strangulation charge was a felony, so the bail-jumping charge was a felony, too.
A bail-jumping offense may not itself be a crime. Missing a court date, violating a local ordinance, having a drink, or using an illegal drug could all be bail-jumping offenses if bond conditions prohibit the activity.
On July 8, 2021, Dane County Circuit Court Commissioner Jason Hanson set a $500 signature bond in the heroin case, with the same restrictions McAndrew imposed — no drugs without a prescription and no new crimes.
On September 7, 2021, prosecutors filed a complaint against Odell for conduct allegedly occurring just two weeks after the heroin incident.
On May 22, 2021, Sun Prairie police were called to the Super 8 Motel for report of a theft. A housekeeper’s wallet disappeared from the lunch bag on her housekeeping cart.
Video surveillance footage showed Odell rifling through the cart, taking something, and putting it in his pocket. Odell was identified as guest at the motel. The motel clerk had photocopied Odell’s identification when he checked in.
Odell was charged with misdemeanor theft as a repeater, plus felony bail jumping for violating the terms of release in the strangulation case.
It appears Odell was not taken into custody when the wallet case was charged, as three days later, just before 9:00 a.m. on September 10, 2021, University of Wisconsin-Madison police were dispatched to the parking lot outside the Waisman Center on a report of a man shooting a firearm.
Responding officers found Odell, matching the description of the shooter, in the parking lot. Odell’s voice was raspy, and he was swaying and leaning.
Odell confirmed he had fired a gun and said the weapon was inside his vehicle next to him. He had no explanation for being in the parking lot or holding a firearm.
Officers found a spent shell casing on the roof of Odell’s dark-colored Jeep and another on the ground near the car. Inside the Jeep they found an unloaded handgun, unspent bullets, and magazines.
Officers also found a prescription container of Suboxone in Odell’s name. Odell said he had ingested Suboxone earlier that morning.
Odell admitted that he had been driving his girlfriend’s car from his residence to the Waisman Center. Police matched the Jeep to a call police received that morning about a reckless driver in Madison.
The incident led to a nine-count criminal complaint against Odell, with most counts including a repeater enhancement: possession of a firearm by a felon, second-degree recklessly endangering safety by use of a dangerous weapon, possession of a firearm while intoxicated, negligent handling of a weapon, disorderly conduct with use of a dangerous weapon, third-offense operating a motor vehicle while under the influence, operating a motor vehicle while revoked, and felony bail jumping (two counts). One bail-jumping charge stemmed from the release conditions in the strangulation case; the other stemmed from the release conditions in the heroin case.
Prosecutors filed the criminal complaint in the firearm case on September 16, 2021. On the same day they also charged him with alleged criminal activity from December 2020.
On December 19, 2020, police in Verona received a report of a white Jeep swerving into oncoming traffic. The caller provided the license plate number. A few minutes later, the caller contacted police again to say the Jeep pulled into a Kwik Trip.
A Verona police officer responded to the Kwik Trip and found the Jeep empty. The officer parked his squad car and waited for the driver to return. The driver turned out to be Odell, but he said his name was Kurt Mann and gave the officer an incorrect date of birth.
The officer noted that Odell’s pupils were constricted, his speech was slurred, and his body was jerking. Odell stated he was on Suboxone and two other drugs prescribed by a doctor. Odell also told the officer that he had Tourette’s syndrome, which caused his tics.
Odell failed field sobriety tests. He refused to submit to a blood test, but the officer obtained a warrant for a blood draw.
The toxicology report on Odell’s blood came back positive for amphetamine and methamphetamine.
Police interviewed the caller who reported Odell’s vehicle, and she described the erratic driving as “all over the road,” with varying speeds and several crossings of the centerline into opposing traffic.
Odell was charged with four new counts: third-offense operating a motor vehicle while under the influence (a misdemeanor), third-offense operating with a restricted controlled substance in his blood (a misdemeanor), obstructing an officer by providing a false name and date of birth (a misdemeanor), and felony bail jumping. The bail-jumping charge related back to the felony strangulation case restriction that he not use controlled substances without a valid prescription.
Odell appeared before Dane County Circuit Court Commissioner Karie Cattanach on September 16, 2021, regarding the wallet, firearm, and Kwik Trip cases.
Cattanach set cash bond at $500 in the wallet case, $5,000 in the firearm case, and $500 in the Kwik Trip case. Restrictions set by Cattancach included that Odell not operate a motor vehicle, use or possess controlled substances, or commit any new crime. Odell posted bond in all three cases the same day.
Just five days later, a Madison police officer parked in his squad car monitoring traffic observed a gray Jeep pass his location. The Jeep’s license plates were covered by an opaque gray plastic.
The officer performed a traffic stop. The driver, Odell, provided a Wisconsin identification card and said he did not have a driver’s license. The check on Odell’s record showed that his license had been revoked for an alcohol-related violation.
On September 23, 2021, prosecutors charged Odell with five counts of felony bail jumping, all with repeater enhancements. The complaint alleged that Odell drove a motor vehicle in violation of the release conditions in the firearm and Kwik Trip cases and committed a crime in violation of the release conditions in the strangulation, heroin, and wallet cases.
Felony bail jumping carries a possible fine of $10,000 and imprisonment up to six years, or both. The repeater enhancements, based on Odell’s 2018 felony burglary conviction, added another possible four years per count.
On the same date prosecutors charged Odell with bail jumping in the license-plate case, they also charged him for activity that allegedly occurred the prior summer.
On June 30, 2021, police in Belleville responded to a call reporting a physical domestic dispute. As an officer approached the address, he saw that the front screen door was damaged.
A woman answered the door and said her boyfriend, Odell, kicked in her front door and broke her television and mirror, during an argument. Odell then left in a Jeep and crashed it into the girlfriend’s car, pushing it onto the sidewalk, she said. She thought Odell was intoxicated at the time.
Odell was charged with misdemeanor criminal damage to property, with a domestic abuse assessment, and felony bail jumping for committing a crime while on release in the strangulation case.
Dane County Circuit Court Commissioner Brian Asmus set a $2,500 cash bond in the license-plate case and $500 in the property-damage case, with restrictions that Odell not drive a motor vehicle or threaten the victim. Odell paid both bond amounts and was released.
All told, 14 non-bail-jumping criminal charges against Odell exposed him to almost $140,000 in fines and 64 years of incarceration. Eleven felony bail-jumping charges, eight of them with a repeater provision, added a potential $110,000 in fines and 98 years in prison.
On August 5, 2022, Odell resolved all seven cases in a plea hearing before Dane County Circuit Judge John Hyland.
Odell pleaded guilty to seven counts, one of which was a felony bail-jumping charge with a repeater enhancement. Odell was taken into custody that day.
All other charges were dismissed but “read in” at sentencing. Read-in charges are dismissed as part of a plea agreement, but the defendant agrees that the court can consider the charges at sentencing.
On August 22, 2022, Hyland sentenced Odell as follows:
All sentences are concurrent.
In the end, although Odell faced 98 years in prison for 11 charged bail-jumping counts, he received just 60 days for one count, and the time will run while he serves the other sentences.
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