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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Northern District of Florida

Tuesday, October 1, 2019

Fishing Vessel Crew Member Held For Assault On The High Seas After Allegedly Stabbing Ship's Captain Off Pensacola Coast


PENSACOLA, FLORIDA – United States Attorney for the Northern District of Florida Lawrence Keefe today announced a criminal complaint against Robert Odom, a crew member on a commercial fishing vessel who allegedly attacked and wounded the vessel’s captain with a pellet gun and long-blade knife as the vessel was underway in the Gulf of Mexico off Pensacola. The criminal complaint against Odom, 46, was lodged by the United States Coast Guard Investigative Service.

Odom is being held by the United States Marshals Service pending a detention and probable cause hearing on Thursday, October 3, 2019, at 2:30 pm CST at the United States Courthouse in Pensacola.

According to the complaint, the vessel was at sea approximately 20-26 nautical miles south-southeast of Perdido Pass, with a captain and two crew members. While fishing shortly before 9:30 pm on Friday, September 27, Odom allegedly shot the captain in the chest with a pellet rifle and then, after a struggle, stabbed the captain twice, causing "immediate, profuse bleeding." Coast Guard and Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission officers responded to a call for help, and Coast Guard personnel administered first aid to the captain. The captain was taken by helicopter to Sacred Heart Hospital in Pensacola. Odom was taken into custody by the United States Coast Guard Investigative Service.

A criminal complaint is merely an allegation that a defendant has committed a violation of federal criminal law and is not evidence of guilt. All defendants are presumed innocent and entitled to a fair trial, during which it will be the government’s burden to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt at trial.

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

The United States Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Florida is one of 94 offices that serve as the nation’s principal litigators under the direction of the Attorney General. To access public court documents online, please visit the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Florida website. For more information about the United States Attorney’s Office, Northern District of Florida, visit

U.S. Attorney's Office Northern District of Florida 850-216-3845
Updated October 1, 2019