Veterans life insurance

Tennessee man accused of defrauding widow of Owens Crossroads arrested

MADISON COUNTY, Ala. (WHNT) – A Tennessee man sits in the Madison County jail following an investigation spanning years and crossing state lines.

The Owens Crossroads Police Department (OCPD) said the arrest was “long standing” on Thursday.

It all started with Brittany Story, a resident of Owens Crossroads. Her husband, Sergeant Justin Story, had served six years in the US Army with two tours in Iraq and Kuwait.

Like many veterans, Sgt. Story suffered from a serious case of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) after returning home. In May 2020, he committed suicide.

Brittany Story wanted a fresh start for herself and their children. She intended to build a farm with lots of land for her children to grow up on. She used the money she received from her husband’s military life insurance to hire a Middle Tennessee contractor to start building her dream home.

This entrepreneur was called Walt Vernon O’Dare.

Apparently, O’Dare took $87,560 from Story after discussing plans for the house and what she wanted it to look like. He left that day and never built the house. He also never returned Story’s money, authorities said.

OCPD Detective Jason White took charge of the case and followed up on some information. What he discovered was that Story wasn’t the only one making these claims against O’Dare. After Detective White interviewed several people, a first-degree robbery arrest warrant was obtained for O’Dare in March 2021.

This warrant was then entered into the National Crime Information Center (NCIC) system and listed as a nationwide extradition. The OCPD said that basically means, “You find it, we’ll come get it!”

It wasn’t until later in 2021 that O’Dare was arrested in Tennessee on similar charges, but he was released soon after due to COVID-19 concerns. Authorities say he was “difficult to locate” after the arrest.

Wednesday, Detective White made an announcementsaying that O’Dare had been arrested in Tennessee and was being extradited to Alabama to face charges in Madison County.

“Thanks to members of the Anderson County, Grainger County and Knox County Tennessee Sheriff’s Offices, O’Dare has been arrested again in Tennessee,” White said. “We would especially like to thank Sheriff James Harville of the Grainger County Sheriff’s Office who handled O’Dare’s transfer to our custody today by personally allowing one of his deputies to meet with me and [OCPD] Chief Dobbins halfway to Chattanooga.

The OCPD says that upon their return to Madison County, O’Dare, 37, was incarcerated in the Madison County Jail.

His bail was set by the courts as a $150,000 cash-only bond.