Fishing vessel crew member sentenced to 40 months in federal prison for stabbing ship captain

Northwest Florida

PENSACOLA, Fla. (WKRG) — Robert Lester Odom, 47, of Pensacola, was sentenced on
Friday, Sept. 25, to 40 months in federal prison after pleading guilty to the charge of
assault with a dangerous weapon with intent to do bodily harm.

“This vicious attack was made even more serious due to the vessel’s location, so far away from
help,” said U.S. Attorney Lawrence Keefe. “Reducing violent crime is a top priority for the Justice
Department and our District, and as federal prosecutors, we will continue to work with our law
enforcement partners to hold these criminals accountable for their actions.”

The facts introduced at the sentencing hearing revealed that on Sept. 27, 2019, Odom, a
crew member on a commercial fishing boat, attacked and wounded the vessel’s captain with a
pellet rifle and a long-blade knife. At the time, the vessel was at sea about 20-26 nautical miles south-southeast of Perdido Pass, with a captain and two crew members. While fishing shortly before 9:30 p.m., Odom shot the captain in the chest with a pellet rifle and then, after a struggle, stabbed the captain twice, causing immediate, profuse bleeding. United States Coast Guard and Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission officers responded to a call for help, and United States Coast Guard personnel administered first aid to the captain. The captain was then flown by helicopter to Sacred Heart Hospital in Pensacola.

As part of his sentence, Odom was ordered to pay $12,180 in restitution to the victim. In
addition, after serving his term of imprisonment, Odom will begin a three-year term of federal
supervised release.

This case was investigated by the United States Coast Guard Investigative Service. Assistant
United States Attorney Ryan Love prosecuted the case.

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