Fernandina Beach Police made an arrest in the death of an Alabama offensive lineman. Douglas was found dead May 12 after a house party in the beach community. Police allege that the late Alabama football player was provided methadone by Rodney Young Odum, a taxicab driver. Odum was charged with manslaughter and sale/delivery of a controlled substance.
According to a statement released by police, “Detectives have learned that Douglas obtained transportation to the open house party from a local cab service and that the taxi cab driver, Rodney Young Odum, gave or sold prescription medication, specifically two Methadone pills, to Douglas during the cab ride. The Medical Examiner’s Office has determined that the cause of death was multiple drug toxicity and that the Methadone alone was sufficient enough to cause death, while no other combination would have likely caused death. The Medical Examiner’s toxicology report revealed trace amounts of Carisoprodol, Diazepam, Meprobamate, Nordiazepam, Oxycodone, and Cannabinoids.”
Police have filed other charges related to the Douglas’ case. In late June, four residents of the home where the house party was held were charged “with allowing an open house party wherein at least sixteen (16) persons under the age of twenty-one (21) were known to be present and allowed to consume alcoholic beverages and / or narcotics by those in control of the residence.”
Alabama football coach Nick Saban responded to news of the arrest at his Tuesday press conference. Saban expressed hope that this type of behavior can be “cracked down” in a way that would eliminate this type of problem from happening to other young people.
“Nothing can erase the pain of what happened with Aaron,” Saban said. “It was tough on our team when you lose a comrade and lose someone that’s a part of your team. Certainly, I think that at least now the person who did the wrongdoing is being held accountable for it, which is a positive thing. But nothing can really make that wrong right. It is good that maybe this person will be convicted and not be able to do this type of stuff to other young people. I’m hopeful that we could crackdown on this in all areas.”
Police expressed hope that the arrest sends a message, “The victim clearly shares some responsibility for the reckless behavior that took his life. However, Mr. Odum reportedly had a reputation as a mobile drug dealer, making it very easy for the victim to locate and ingest the drugs that killed him. Although it is often difficult to pursue criminal charges in cases involving drug overdoses, this case provides us the ability to send a clear message that we intend to prosecute those that openly dispense dangerous drugs in our community whenever possible.”