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Dennis O'Dell charged with uncle's meth-fueled hammer murder two months after attack

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Dennis O'Dell was first taken into custody circa early May in relation to a hammer attack on his uncle -- one allegedly fueled by a bad dream and their mutual interest in meth.

Now, however, he's been charged with murder, after his horribly injured relative died.

According to the Colorado Springs Police Department, officers responded to 3640 Agate Drive a little before 4 p.m. on May 10 following a report of a burglary in progress. The person who put in the call -- subsequently revealed to be Dennis O'Dell -- said someone was in the act of breaking a window at the back of the residence.

When officers arrived, they found Terry O'Dell suffering serious head wounds, apparently after being hit with a finishing hammer. But he was inside the house, not the person who'd been trying to gain entry.

What happened? A few days after the assault, the Colorado Springs Gazette obtained a bizarre arrest affidavit. The document maintains that Dennis had given Mark Pane, a friend of Terry's, $120 to buy meth in Pueblo for him and his uncle. But when Pane returned and knocked on the door, Dennis, who's said to have admitted using meth earlier in the day, apparently flipped out based on what he later described to officers as Pane's "bad vibe."

After locking Pane out of the house, Dennis dialed 911, but the call was interrupted, apparently by Terry, who grabbed the phone from his nephew and tried to unlock the back door.

Dennis's reaction? He's accused of hitting Terry in the head with the hammer, then striking him with it twice more after he'd fallen to the floor. Dennis is quoted in the affidavit as explaining to officers he'd done so due in part to "a dream that his uncle was going to kill him with a knife."

At that point, Dennis reportedly called 911 again and told the operator that he'd just killed Terry with a hammer -- which turned out to be accurate, but not for a while. Terry clung to life for more than two months before finally passing away on July 23.

His death -- the fourteenth homicide in Colorado Springs this year -- will undoubtedly result in an upgrade of the original attempted first-degree murder charge against Dennis, whose nightmare has turned into a worse one. Here's a larger look at his booking photo.

More from our Colorado Crimes archive: "John Burrell second soldier busted in Virgil Means killing near motorcycle club."

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