Fallen lawman remembered at TSU graduation

August 10, 2008 4:42:48 AM PDT
Texas Southern University honored hundreds of graduates Saturday, but also took time to remember a young man, not a graduate, but someone just as outstanding. For the graduates of TSU, Saturday was about a dream realized, but for one family, it's about a dream that will never come true. The TSU community honored them anyway.

"It's a wonderful feeling," said Corliss Odom Lewis, mother of Precinct 6 reserve Deputy Carltrell Odom. "I'm very pleased with the outcome and I'm just very grateful."

Corliss was there, along with her family, as the university issued an honorary diploma to her son.

"If he was here, he would be full of joy like I am," said Carltrell's father, Carl Lewis. "And I know right now, he's looking down from heaven on us, knowing we received this diploma for him."

Carltrell was killed last November, shot while he was off-duty at an apartment complex in southeast Houston, fighting back during a robbery. He was 22.

Standing up for himself and others was a simple trademark of his personality.

"He loved people. He loved everybody," said Corliss. "And he would do anything to help anybody and that was his goal in life, to help people."

"It's real good that they honored him here today, even though he's not able to be here himself," said Carltrell's girlfriend, Katrina Thompson. "It was real unnecessary what happened."

To help in healing the wounds left by the loss, precinct 6 deputies stood with the family as they added a diploma to Carltrell's accomplishments.

"Carltrell, this is for you," said Carl.

The family will hang the diploma in the living room, alongside Carltrell's other degrees. As for Carltrell's murder, five people are facing charges in that case.

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