Young kids watched, called for help as their father brutally beat mother, court docs allege

Authorities say that a mother of five children, Carissa Odegaard, has died after being...
Authorities say that a mother of five children, Carissa Odegaard, has died after being assaulted with her ex-husband arrested.(GoFundMe)
Published: Aug. 25, 2022 at 10:57 AM CDT
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WARREN, M.N. (Valley News Live) - Official charges have been filed against the man accused of brutally beating his wife earlier this week in front of their five young children.

31-year-old Anders Odegaard is charged in Marshall County Court with one count of second-degree murder. Bail has been set at $2.5 million.

Anders Odegaard
Anders Odegaard(Marshall County Sheriff)

Deputies were called to Odegaard’s home in Warren, Minn. on Aug. 23 for a domestic dispute. The 911 caller later told officers he was flagged down on Bridge Ave and S. Division St. by two boys who told the man to call 911 because their mom was bleeding really bad and needed help.

Court documents say when a deputy went inside Odegaard’s home, he came out from the kitchen in just boxer-style briefs with looked to be blood smeared on his left eyebrow and blood in his hair. When asked what was going on, documents say Odegaard said, “I don’t feel right.” The deputy soon saw Odegaard’s wife, 31-year-old Carissa, laying in the entry or the front doorway and appeared to have severe head trauma with blood pooling on the floor. The deputy started life-saving measures until Warren Ambulance arrived on scene and rushed Carissa to the hospital. She would later be flown to a Fargo hospital where she was pronounced brain dead on Wednesday, Aug. 24.

When deputies asked Odegaard if he was willing to talk to investigators, documents say the only thing Odegaard would say was, “I don’t feel right.”

Documents say all five of the Odegaard’s kids were at the house at the time of the assault, and documents say the youngest was being held by his mother at the time of the assault. The child is two-years-old.

The 9-year-old child told investigators he and his siblings stayed at his dad’s house on Aug. 22 in Warren. Around 5 p.m., documents say Carissa came to pick up the kids and got into an argument with Odegaard. The child told investigators he believed his father grabbed a knife or a spatula and hit his mother with that. The 9-year-old told deputies he has seen his father hit his mother before, but usually with his hand.

The child went on to say his dad told him to get out of the house, which is when the child ran to the highway to get help.

The third interview was the Odegaard’s 8-year-old son. He said his mother came to pick them up for church and Odegaard didn’t want her to take the kids. The child told investigators his mom and dad were fighting over the youngest brother and were tackling each other. Documents say the child was able to get his youngest sibling away from his parents and had to wash the toddler up because there was blood on him.

Documents say the argument started outside in the backyard and moved into the house. The 8-year-old said that his dad was holding a spatula outside and maybe cut his mother with that. He also stated he saw his father tackling his mother and watched as his father started choking her.

Court records show the couple has been separated since early July 2020, and their divorce became final in Oct. 2021 after nearly 10 years of marriage.

The court granted the couple join custody of their five children who are all under the age of 9, but a judge gave Carissa sole physical custody.

Several debts are outlined in the couple’s court filings, most of which are Anders’, and all were ordered to be paid back in full by Anders. Documents outline more than $125,000 in student and personal loans, $72,000 in credit card debt, as well as more than $11,000 of unpaid child support. Domestic violence allegations are not outlined in the couple’s divorce filings.

If convicted, Odegaard faces up to 40 years in prison. However, Marshall County prosecutors have filed documents which would ask the court in the sentencing phase to consider going beyond the sentencing guidelines for the charge. Some of the factors that play into an aggravated sentence departure are cruelty shown to the victim and/or if children were present at the time of the crime.

In court Thursday, Odegaard stated he ‘objected’ to the state’s motion and stated he didn’t believe he was a public safety risk, or a risk to his children. Prosecutors stated they have concerns about Odegaard’s mental health which will be addressed at his next hearing on Aug. 30.

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