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Lawyers demanding Savannah woman to retract statements about a Chatham County judge

(Source: WTOC) (Source: WTOC)

Attorneys representing Chatham County Recorder's Court Judge Harris Odell Junior are demanding that a Savannah woman retract statements she made on social media. 

This comes in light of posts made by the woman claiming that Judge Odell has knowingly released criminals into Savannah's streets. There are several posts on Linda Wilder Bryan's Facebook page talking about Judge Odell, but she says her posts are not malicious. She says she's being bullied. 

"I have to laugh to keep from crying. We live and work in a city that is broken," she said. 

Linda Wilder Bryan says she opened up a letter from lawyers working for the judge Wednesday night. The letter outlines prosecution over slander - slander the attorney says was made on July 7, 2017, only days after a shooting and wreck in City Market devastated the community and left many wondering how Jerry Chambers was a free young man after an armed robbery at Savannah Mall. Bryan considers herself to be a community activist after her son died due to gun violence, and was interested to know which judge had a role in Chambers' release. On July 7th, Bryan posted to Facebook saying, 'read it for yourselves, ODELL, hmmmmm,' then later posted on the 11th saying, 'ODELL cannot say after these cowards come to him they are all good.'

It turns out the judge who made decisions on Chambers was a juvenile court judge. Savage Turner Pinckney and Savage's attorneys wrote to Bryan, saying, 'you have no right protected by law to publicly accuse Judge Odell of releasing criminals on bond in violation of the law of Georgia.'

Linda Wilder Bryan says, "I have been writing something for two years. I don't even know what post he is talking about. I don't know what post he is talking about, but I tell everybody I am not taking posts down because I want you to go back and reread it."

The letter demanding the retraction of slander refers to Bryan as a public person because she recently ran for a city council seat. Bryan lost to Alderwoman Carol Bell. 

"Well Mr. Odell you can not have it both ways because if I was unsuccessful, people were not listening to me and I was not elected," Bryan said. 

Attorneys representing Judge Odell say, 'We demand... you provide a written apology directly to Judge Odell for your slanderous comments.'

Bryan says she welcomes going to court. 

"It is what it is. I get to have a voice and I get to say things that are wrong with this community," she said. 

We reached out to Judge Odell and his attorney, and they have no statement for us pending litigation. The deadline for the demands outline in the letter is noon on July 31. 

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