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Prosecutor Who Allegedly Beat Ex-Wife To Death In Front Of Their Kids Objects To No-Contact Order
Former prosecutor Anders Odegaard, charged in the beating death of his ex-wife, Carissa Odegaard, objected to a judge's order that he have no contact with their children who witnessed the incident.
A former North Dakota prosecutor charged in the brutal beating death of his ex-wife in front of their kids is objecting to a judge's ruling that he have no contact with them.
Anders Odegaard, 31, is accused of beating his ex-wife, Carissa Odegaard, 31, to death in his home in Warren, Minnesota — an area in northwest Minnesota that's about 100 miles north of Fargo, North Dakota — on Tuesday, Aug. 23. He is currently charged with second-degree murder, after Carissa Odegaard was declared brain dead as a result of her injuries the following day.
In charging documents obtained by Law & Crime, the couple's two oldest children — two boys, ages 8 and 9, who are also the primary witnesses — told police that all five of the former couple's kids had stayed at their father's house on Monday night and spend much of Tuesday there. Their mother arrived at 5:00 p.m. on Tuesday for a custody swap, and reportedly intended to take the children to church.
Everyone was in Anders Odegaard's backyard, and he started an argument over wanting the children to remain with him, the boys said. The couple's two middle children had already been placed in their mother's running car when the physical fight began. According to the couple's 8-year-old son, Carissa Odegaard had picked up and was carrying the couple's 2-year-old when Anders Odegaard escalated the argument to a physical fight over the toddler. Their 8-year-old said that his father then began to strike his mother with a burger flipper he had outside, and she had a cut on her arm when he managed to get his youngest brother away from his parents and take him away to rinse his mother's blood off the toddler.
The 9-year-old also said he saw his father using either a flipper or a knife on his mother, though the boy said that Anders normally just hit Carissa with his hands, according to the charging documents.
The parents' fight allegedly continued into the house, where the 8-year-old told police he saw Anders Odegaard tackle the boy's bleeding mom to the floor and pin her on her stomach. As Anders was allegedly choking her, Carissa told their 8-year-old to call 911 and he fled the house. The 9-year-old told police that he came into the house shortly thereafter and saw his mother, not moving and covered in blood on the floor, after which his father told him to get out.
Both boys then flagged down a passing car, asking the driver to call 911 "because their mom was bleeding really bad and needed help," according to charging documents in the case. The elder boy told the first responding deputy that he believed his mother was dead.
When the deputy entered the home, he encountered Anders Odegaard, who had blood on his face and in his hair but was only wearing boxer briefs. The former prosecutor allegedly refused to respond to questions except to say, "I don't feel right," and was placed in cuffs while the responding deputy radioed for help and attempted to perform CPR on Carissa Odegaard, who was unresponsive, not breathing and had suffered obvious, severe head trauma with blood pooling underneath her on the floor.
Anders Odegaard was then arrested for domestic assault and Carissa Odegaard was ultimately transported to a hospital in Fargo, where she was declared brain dead the following day. The 2-year-old and his two middle siblings were found in their mother's running car in the home's driveway.
The 2-year-old who was being held by Carissa as Anders allegedly began striking her refused to speak to officers after the events.
According to Fargo NBC affiliate KVLY, the couple separated in July 2020, officially divorced in September 2021 and finalized their settlement in October 2021, in which they were given joint custody of the children, but Carissa received sole physical custody. While no allegations of domestic violence are listed in the divorce records, they do note that, at of the time of their divorce, Anders Odegaard owed $72,000 to various credit card companies, $125,000 in both student and personal loans and owed Carissa more than $11,000 of unpaid child support.
According to Fox News, the couple had been due back in court for a review of their arrangements shortly after Carissa's beating death.
At a court hearing on Thursday, Anders Odegaard was ordered held on a $250,000 cash bail/$2.5 million bond with the conditions that he surrender his passport, remain in Minnesota, not drink or do drugs and have no contact with his minor children. Alternately, the court offered him the option to pay $5 million in cash bail with no special conditions, but noted that he could still have no contact with "family of [the] crime victim" — which presumably includes the couple's five children.
As part of the bail decision, the judge declared him a danger to public safety and suggested he had the potential to harm himself or others.
At the same hearing, prosecutors filed motions to seek above-statutory penalties, should Odegaard be convicted, alleging that his ex-wife was "treated with particular cruelty" and the act was allegedly committed in front of their children.
Odegaard objected to both, according to KVLY, stating he did not believe he posed a danger to himself or his children.
His next court hearing is scheduled for Tuesday. Prosecutors say they plan to address concerns about Odegaard's mental health as part of it, according to the station.