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Family defends teen accused of murder

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BAXLEY, GA (WTOC) -

Loved ones of a teenager facing murder charges sat in the small court room at the Appling County jail.

Deputies brought 17-year-old Tyler Odom in to face a deputy magistrate judge. Odom heard the charges against him and learned he could not be offered bond on felony charges like murder.

It will take a hearing in Superior Court for a judge to decide whether or not to grant bond.

After the hearing, his mother and grandmother tearfully defended Odom and described the shooting death of 16-year-old Buddy Combee as a "tragic accident".

"Tyler called Buddy his best best friend," said Betty Cothern, Odom's grandmother. "He would never doing anything on purpose to hurt him."

Cothern said neither she nor his mother knew he'd gone hunting with Combee Sunday afternoon. Both said Odom had no experience handing or shooting a gun.

"They [Combee's family] let him go hunting, but he didn't know anything about guns. I don't mean anything against them. They're good people. But he didn't have any experience with a gun."

Odom remains in the Appling County jail awaiting a bond appearance in Superior Court.

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