Malcolm Odom

A Parsons man died from a single gunshot wound to the chest early Thursday morning, and Parsons police have arrested Malcolm M. Odom, 29, for the crime.

Police responded at 1:06 a.m. Thursday to a 911 call about a shooting at Mendota Creek Apartments, 1500 S. 25th St.

Callers and witnesses identified the suspect as Odom of Parsons. Odom was last seen running northbound but was not found by law enforcement. A Labette County Sheriff’s Office K-9 tracked Odom through grass and trees and lost the scent at a street.

Police identified the victim as Levi Kendricks, 22, of Parsons. Kendricks was pronounced dead at the scene.

As Thursday unfolded, law enforcement continued to search for Odom and gather evidence. Odom, having been positively identified by witnesses, is considered the prime suspect and not just a person of interest, according to Parsons police.

Police Chief Robert Spinks reported that Odom was arrested at 7:20 p.m. Thursday. He was found under a couch in a house in the 1400 block of Partridge Avenue. Police officers were still searching for the gun. Spinks said Odom was jailed on suspicion of second-degree murder, criminal possession of a firearm by a felon, criminal discharge of a firearm, criminal carrying of a weapon and criminal use of weapons.

Officers had been following up on various tips for the last 18 hours, police said. Each abandoned house in the area was searched by officers. Eventually, with the help of citizens, police were directed to the house on Partridge and a search was conducted. Officer Tyeler Riggs spotted Odom and ordered him out. He was arrested without incident. Besides the murder, he is also wanted on a Kansas Department of Corrections warrant.

“This brings another felon to justice in Parsons," Police Chief Robert Spinks said in a prepared statement. "I am appreciative to the men and women of the police department that were out in the cold searching houses, wooded areas and following up on every lead all day. I am especially appreciative to the citizens that remembered ‘See It, Hear It, Report It’ and called the police with information or details that led to the apprehension of a dangerous felon. It is a terrible loss of life and the family and friends of the much too young victim have my deepest condolences. Twenty-two years is not enough time on this earth to live life to its fullest. I mourn the loss of life and pray the family sees justice as we hand the case to the court system.” 

“Odom’s capture will hopefully give citizens the closure they need to rest a little easier tonight," said Deputy Chief of Police Dennis Dodd. "Anytime there is a murder the community goes on high alert and needs to hear the closure of the arrest to be put at ease. I hope this brings the peace of mind in some form."

Odom was paroled from prison in 2019 and moved to California. Odom and three others were convicted of charges related to a Nov. 28, 2011, home invasion in rural Parsons. Another man was convicted for helping plan this and another invasion. Odom was sentenced in April 2012 to nearly nine years for aggravated robbery, aggravated burglary and aggravated assault. 

Last year, Odom was charged in Labette County District Court with criminal threat, a low-level felony. The threat happened May 3, 2020. Odom pleaded to three counts of misdemeanor battery. He received a suspended jail term of one year and was placed on probation for a year. That criminal case has since been sealed.

This continues to be an ongoing investigation and citizens are encouraged to “see it, hear it, report it.” Anyone with further information on this incident or any other criminal activity should contact the Parsons Police Department at 421-7060, call the tip line at 421-7057 or email tips@parsonspd.com.

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