Tallahassee, FL—Before Leon County Sheriff’s Detective Don Odham with the Violent Crimes Unit was allowed to violate seventeen-year-old, DeShon Thomas’ Civil Rights inside of the Leon County Sheriff’s Office, Leon County Sheriff’s Detective Don Odham interacted one-on-one with the 14-year-old son of David Mays.
During the morning of October 11, 2010, David Mays, a former Chief Osceola for Florida State University, died in his home from a gunshot blast to the back of his head. According to reports, Joyce Strano, David Mays’ longtime girlfriend and mother of his 14-year-old son, stated that Mr. Mays shot himself during a struggle over a shotgun. Ms. Strano informed deputies that she and Mr. Mays were having problems in their relationship and that Mr. Mays had been depressed. Ms. Strano stated she and their 14-year-old son struggled with Mr. Mays to get the shotgun out of his hands before the shotgun fired—killing Mr. Mays.
According to reports, David Mays’ brother informed deputies that he had just spoken to his brother, David, during the morning hours of October 11, 2010, and the two had made plans to meet later on that morning. Mr. Mays’ family does not believe that their loved one, David Mays, shot himself in the back of the head. Leon County Sheriff’s Detective Don Odham played a key role in the investigation—such as collecting evidence, interacting and communicating with Ms. Strano and Mr. Mays’ 14-year-old son. The Mays’ family believes that the Leon County Sheriff’s Office and State Attorney Willie Meggs’ Office mishandled the investigation/and grand jury presentation of the case.
In early 2011, nearly two weeks after Leon County Sheriff’s Detective Don Odham violated DeShon Thomas’ Civil Rights, Leon County Sheriff’s Detective Don Odham prepared a Summary of Offense for Two Counts of 1st Degree Murder and Probable Cause—naming DeShon Thomas as the murderer of DeShon’s former girlfriend (who was pregnant) and her 17-year-old brother. Leon County Sheriff Larry Campbell’s son, Assistant State Attorney/Prosecutor Jack Campbell, who works under State Attorney Willie Meggs, approved the Probable Cause and took it get further approval from Leon County Judge Nina Ashenafi-Richardson. DeShon pled not guilty.
Less than a week after Judge Ashenafi-Richardson issued an arrest warrant for DeShon, Leon County Sheriff’s Detective Don Odham became lead detective on the double murder case—replacing a female full-time certified veteran detective—and putting her and her team of veteran detectives and other full-time certified veteran deputies under his command.
In October 2013, during the 2011 double murder and 2012 solicitation to commit 1st degree murder trial, in which DeShon Thomas was the defendant, DeShon Thomas and his family learned that Leon County Sheriff’s Detective Don Odham was never an employee with the Leon County Sheriff’s Office. Mr. Don Odham had been granted full authority to act as a Leon County Sheriff’s Detective with the Violent Crimes Unit. According to sources, Mr. Odham was/is a wealthy friend of the now deceased—Sheriff Larry Campbell. As DeShon Thomas and his family learned this vital information during DeShon’s trial (nearly 3 years later), it explained the pattern of corruption that plagued DeShon’s judicial process. So much so—that DeShon’s fourth court appointed attorney, Regional Counsel Daren Shippy, failed to defend DeShon on Mr. Don Odham and the Leon County Sheriff’s Office severe lack of creditability. There is more evidence to show that those officials involved in DeShon’s arrest are in fact criminals. There was no physical, material or circumstantial evidence against DeShon. DeShon was convicted on Two Counts of 1st Degree Murder and Solicitation to Commit 1st Degree Murder because none of his defense attorneys was man enough to stand up to corruption—refusing to bring forth any physical evidence that could’ve exonerated DeShon three years earlier—soon after he was charged.
The Leon County Sheriff’s Office and State Attorney Willie Meggs’ Office misled grand juries in several cases by presenting Mr. Odham and any documentation that had been prepared by Mr. Odham and any documentation with the undersigning of “Leon County Sheriff’s Detective Don Odham”. And by the Leon County Sheriff’s Office and State Attorney Willie Meggs’ Office misleading grand juries, the Leon County Sheriff’s Office and State Attorney Willie Meggs’ Office knowingly left cold-blooded murders in the community. Cold-blooded murders to freely walk the streets that Tallahassee citizens and thousands of unsuspecting college students who come from all over the world to attend college walk as well.
At what other time would Mr. Mays’ 14-year-old son need to communicate extensively with a trained, creditable cop—other than minutes after witnessing his dad die from a shotgun blast to the back of his head? At what other time would 17-year-old, DeShon Thomas, need access to an attorney—other than after voluntarily walking into the Leon County Sheriff’s Office with his mother to provide a helpful statement—and then immediately go from having his voluntary interview turn into a full on interrogation—with search warrants being served on him for his persons and personal belongings. DeShon was denied access to his mother and he was denied access to an attorney. Mr. Odham, an ordinary citizen acting as a cop, was allowed to commit false imprisonment of a child inside of the Leon County Sheriff’s Office.
It is outrageous that two young children, both dealing with two different, yet horrific circumstances, were allowed to be preyed upon by Mr. Don Odham a.k.a “Fake Cop”, with the support of two of the most powerful elected officials charged with protecting the citizens of Tallahassee—Leon County. Leon County Sheriff Larry Campbell and State Attorney Willie Meggs put Tallahassee citizens in danger while collecting money from taxpayers. Is this not a complete Breach of Trust? Somebody must dismantle this “Blue Wall of Silence” and excessive prosecutorial misconduct. Mr. Odham has played a key role in many other cases. Several families have reached out to the Federal Bureau of Investigation seeking justice.
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I was a friend and workout partner of David Mays back when I attended FSU in Tallahassee from 1981-1985. I would very much like to know what the conclusion of the FBI investigation found in reference to his apparent homicide? I could not find any follow up articals discussing their ultimate findings? Thank you,