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August 14, 2018 - 12:10pm

Hearing provides new details in fight between Batavia athletes

posted by Howard B. Owens in ray leach, antwan odom, batavia, news.

In a hearing to determine whether there is reasonable cause to charge Antwan Odom with attempted assault in the first degree for cutting his teammate, classmate and neighbor Ray Leach during a fight over stolen property Aug. 4 in Batavia, Leach said their disagreement was over $60.

Court documents indicate the 18-year-old Odom said Leach accused him of stealing marijuana.

Both teenagers agreed to fight, Leach testified in the preliminary hearing, also called a felony hearing. Things got out of hand, according to his version of the story, when Odom pulled out a small, yellow pocket knife and stabbed Leach 10 times.

District Attorney Lawrence Friedman said, “It was a fairly involved situation he explained for the judge. He was the only witness.”

Odom's attorney Frank Housh said no weapon was found on his client. He said that Odom is the victim in the case. 

“It was some remarkable testimony,” Housh said. “He testified that a few days before he went over to my client’s house, demanding he come out and fight him, he had sent a Facebook post telling him that he was going to end him."

City Court Judge Robert Balbick ruled there is reasonable cause to conclude that Odom committed attempted assault, 1st. The case will now be referred to the grand jury to consider an indictment.

Leach has not been cleared to play football. His stitches will be removed Monday but the Blue Devils' star running back could have nerve damage to his upper leg.

Odom, like Leach, was expected to start his senior year next month and once again be one of the key players on Batavia's football team. At the close of yesterday's hearing, his bail, set last week by Balbick at $50,000/$100,000 was reduced to $15,000 cash or $30,000 bond.

Story based on reporting by 13WHAM, The Batavian's news partner.

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