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August 23, 2011

Arrest made in Douglas case

TUSCALOOSA | The Fernandina Beach (Fla.) Police Department has made an arrest in connection with the death of former University of Alabama football player Aaron Douglas, and has charged Rodney Young Odum with manslaughter and the sale and delivery of a controlled substance, according to a department release.

Odum is in the Nassau County jail on a $50,000 bond and allegedly provided Douglas with Methadone. According to police, Odum was the taxi cab driver who transported Douglas from Jacksonville to Fernandina Beach on the evening of May 11. Douglas was found dead on the morning of May 12 at a residence where a party had occurred, and the medical examiner's office later determined the death to be drug-related.

"Nothing can erase the pain of what happened with Aaron. It was tough on our team when you lose a comrade and lose someone that's a part of your team," said UA coach Nick Saban. "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."

According to police, Odum gave or sold prescription medication, specifically two Methadone pills, to Douglas during the cab ride. Despite the presence of other substances in Douglas' system, the medical examiner determined the Methadone alone was sufficient enough to cause death, while no other combination would have likely caused death. A toxicology report revealed trace amounts of Carisoprodol, Diazepam, Meprobamate, Nordiazepam, Oxycodone, and
Cannabinoids.

According to the release, the Douglas family and the state attorney's office were both consulted before the manslaughter charge was deemed appropriate.

Four others have been charged with allowing an open house party at the residence, where no fewer than 16 people under the age of 21 were determined to have consumed alcohol or narcotics.

Reach Chase Goodbread at chase.goodbread@tuscaloosanews.com or at 205-722-0196.


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