Mattoon Officers to Travel to Arkansas to Honor Fellow Policeman

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Published on June 20 2013 8:23 pm
Last Updated on July 14 2013 4:07 pm
Written by Greg Sapp

(THOMAS O'DELL)

Mattoon police officers are heading to Arkansas next week to honor a policeman wounded in a shootout with the man believed to have killed another individual in Mattoon.

Bryant, Arkansas, police officer Scott Johnson was wounded in an altercation April 2 with Thomas O'Dell of Mattoon.  Johnson caught O'Dell in the act of burglarizing a store and exchanged fire with O'Dell.  Johnson was shot multiple times and O'Dell was killed in the altercation.

Johnson is recovering from his wounds and is returning to work.  The Mattoon officers will be present at a meeting of the Bryant, Arkansas City Council on June 27 to present Johnson with a plaque.  Mattoon Police Chief Jeff Branson and Assistant Chief Jason Taylor will be present along with some other Mattoon officers.

O'Dell was being sought for the shooting death of Benjamin Newton at a bar in Mattoon on March 18.  He left the Coles County area but was suspected of burglarizing a gun shop in Effingham and some incidents in Missouri before turning up in Arkansas.