Man able to board airplane despite arrest warrant

AP News
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Posted: Mar 10, 2016 1:12 PM
Man able to board airplane despite arrest warrant

SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) — A man wanted by Idaho authorities in an attack that left a church pastor seriously wounded was able to board a commercial airliner in Boise, Idaho, and travel to Washington, D.C., this week despite an attempted murder warrant for his arrest.

Kyle Odom drove from Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, after the shooting more than six hours to the airport in Boise, and departed Monday morning, according to the Transportation Security Administration.

The agency said it was not informed of law enforcement's interest in Odom until Monday evening.

"TSA had not received a law enforcement bulletin to 'be on the lookout' for the suspect," the agency said in a press statement.

The TSA screens passengers against the government's Terrorist Watchlist, but there is no similar database for wanted criminals that would have automatically prevented Odom from boarding a plane.

Odom, 30, was arrested while allegedly throwing items onto the lawn of the White House in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday evening.

Odom also apparently wrote a manifesto contending that Martians controlled the Earth, police said.

Odom appeared in District of Columbia Superior Court on Wednesday, wearing handcuffs and a chain connecting his ankles. He said only his name when asked. Public defender Ieshaah Murphy said Odom declined to waive an extradition hearing and be sent back to Idaho in the next few days.

He will be held in jail pending a hearing scheduled for April 6 in Washington, where the only issue is whether the Idaho warrant for attempted first-degree murder in his case is valid.

Odom was also charged this week in federal court in Idaho with one count of unlawful flight to avoid prosecution, based on his alleged fleeing of the scene of the pastor's shooting.

The FBI said in the complaint that Odom was tracked using license plate readers on Interstate 90 heading west toward Washington after the shooting. Investigators were also able to trace his cell phone as far as Hermiston, Oregon, before the phone was turned off.

Meanwhile, Pastor Tim Remington, shot six times Sunday outside his church in Coeur d'Alene, about 30 miles east of Spokane, had regained consciousness and is talking with his family.

Coeur d'Alene Police Detective Jared Reneau said Odom had attended Remington's church a few times and apparently was the author of a manifesto that contended the pastor was a member of a Martian species that had taken over the Earth. Details were contained in electronic documents that Odom apparently mailed to his family and news media outlets this week.

Given Odom's state of mind, Reneau said, "we feel pretty fortunate something worse didn't happen."

After the Sunday afternoon shooting, Odom drove west toward Spokane, Washington, where law officers lost track of his movements. He boarded a flight at the Boise Airport, some 400 miles south of Spokane, on Monday morning.

A former Marine from Coeur d'Alene, Odom is suspected of shooting Remington a day after the pastor led the prayer at a campaign rally for Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz. Authorities say there's no indication Remington's appearance with Cruz had anything to do with the shooting.

Odom graduated from the University of Idaho with a degree in biochemistry. The manifesto said that his life started to deteriorate during his final semester and was now ruined.

"Ruined by an intelligent species of amphibian-humanoid from Mars," the manifesto said.

The document said Martians were here before humans, lived underground and operated a breeding program for humans.

"Don't believe me? Ask President Obama to take a lie detector test of this one," Odom said in his writing.

Odom contended the Martians were unable to control his mind but had been following him. He said he had attempted suicide twice, but they stopped him.

"As you can see, I'm pretty smart," the manifesto said. "I'm also 100% sane, 0% crazy."

The manifesto included the names of members of Congress, members of the Israeli government, Remington and John Padula, outreach pastor for The Altar Church, where Remington is the senior pastor.

"My last resort was to take actions that would bring this to the public's attention," the manifesto said.

Remington, 55, regained consciousness Monday night in a Coeur d'Alene hospital. The pastor, who is married and has four children, is expected to recover from his wounds.

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Associated Press writer Jessica Gresko contributed to this report from Washington, D.C.