A half-naked lawyer reportedly beat his ex-wife to death in front of their children.
Anders Odegaard was allegedly wearing nothing but his underwear when he assaulted his ex, Carissa Odegaards, as she clung to the youngest of their five children in Minnesota, US, on Tuesday (August 23).
Two more watched on in horror and screamed for help, Marshall County Sheriff’s Office said.
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The younger boy, two, was reportedly so traumatised by what he saw that he didn’t respond to questions from deputies who took his dad into custody and rushed his mum to hospital.
Anders and Carissa, both 31, divorced last year, court records show.
The violent episode broke out following a custody dispute which saw the man reportedly refuse to let his ex take their children to church.
It is understood a fight then broke out which saw the woman violently battered by her former husband.
Two of the boys ran outside and managed to get the attention of a stranger, begging him to call 911 "because their mom was bleeding really bad and needed help," according to the complaint.
The first responding deputy arrived on the scene to find Anders in the kitchen in just his underwear, his face and hair spattered with blood.
Carissa was found lying unconscious in a doorway with a pool of blood around her head. It was discovered shortly afterwards that she wasn't breathing.
The deputy then asked Anders to explain what had happened, who then responded: "I don’t feel right."
The officer put Anders in cuffs and attempted to perform CPR on Carissa, when he noticed she had suffered "severe head trauma".
The victim was pronounced brain-dead at Sanford Hospital, North Dakota, on Wednesday (August 24).
She had been kept on life support until her organs could be donated.
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Their brave nine-year-old son who alerted authorities to the incident later told investigators he watched his dad strike his mother with a knife or spatula in the head, prompting him to run outside and get someone to call the police.
The boy also told officers that it wasn't the first time he'd seen Anders hit his mother.
Although three of the couple's children were inside during the attack, their two siblings were in their mum's car and didn't witness the horror that unfolded.
According to court records, the Odegaards tied the knot in May 2011, but their marriage broke down and the pair officially divorced in September of 2021 as their marriage was "irretrievably broken."
The ex-couple was due in court for a review hearing just days after Carissa died.
The parents were given shared legal custody of their five kids, meaning that they were both involved in "major decisions determining the child’s upbringing", but Carissa was granted physical custody and so was in charge of "routine daily care and control of the residence."
Odegaard has been charged with second-degree murder and could face up to 40 years behind bars if convicted.
Prosecutors are also seeking aggravated charges because "the victim was treated with particular cruelty" and because of the presence of child witnesses.
He first appeared in court yesterday (Thursday, August 25).
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