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Odom Will Begin Counseling Program : Former Pitcher Also to Weigh Job Offers After Holiday Trip

December 19, 1985|RAY PEREZ | Times Staff Writer

John (Blue Moon) Odom, arraigned Wednesday on five misdemeanor counts involving a violent incident at his home last week, said he would begin a counseling program after Christmas and would also consider job offers.

"I'm going to relax and go to Georgia for Christmas. I'll take it from there when I get back. I plan to talk to whoever calls and see what is the best job for me," the former major league pitcher said from his Fountain Valley apartment.

Odom, 40, was released late Tuesday from an almost weeklong stay at the Orange County Jail after Municipal Judge Michael Beecher said that a psychiatric evaluation concluded that Odom is not dangerous.

He is scheduled for a pretrial hearing on the five counts on Jan. 16, but a prosecutor said the case may never reach trial.

"In a case like this, the primary concern is the safety of the wife and the community and that this won't happen again," Arnold Westra said. "If the doctors indicate the prognosis is good, we'd be less likely to vigorously prosecute the case."

Odom said he would pursue counseling jointly with his wife, Gayle, 32, who was with him at every court appearance since last week.

On Dec. 10, Odom held her hostage at gunpoint for an hour in their one-bedroom apartment. He then held off a police SWAT team for another six hours before he was flushed from the apartment with tear gas. No shots were fired and Odom was arrested without incident.

Beecher on Friday ordered a 72-hour psychiatric evaluation of Odom, which concluded that Odom needs counseling but is not dangerous.

Odom, who played in three World Series while a member of the Oakland A's, said he was despondent because of his failure to get work after he lost his job at a Xerox computer plant in Irvine six months ago. He was suspended after he was arrested for allegedly selling one gram of cocaine to a fellow worker. Odom denies the charge, which is still pending.

Since last week's arrest, the Odoms have been receiving help offers from former baseball players. A Los Angeles firm that specializes in recruiting workers for computer companies also has offered to help.

A Costa Mesa computer company has offered Odom a job at its small plant. And the Santa Ana-based Labor Assistance Program will help Odom find the proper counseling.

Gayle Odom said that no decision on a job offer would be made until the couple returns from their Christmas trip to Macon, Ga., Odom's hometown.

"I want John to cool down for a couple of days before we go. Then we'll accept all the calls and discuss them. And we'll also start the out-patient counseling."

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