BATON ROUGE, La. — The trucking industry has lost another family member to a senseless act of crime.
Baton Rouge authorities late Wednesday arrested 18-year-old Landry Carter in the armed robbery and shooting death of Tennessee truck driver Keith Odom, 49, of Jonesborough, Tennessee. Carter is also accused in a string of armed robberies that occurred over the past two months, all within a mile of the slaying.
Carter was linked to the robbery and killing after he approached Odom while he was repairing a tire on his 18-wheeler early Tuesday in a parking lot, according to Baton Rouge police.
Investigators said Odom was doing the repair while waiting to make a delivery at a surplus warehouse store in the Longbow Shopping Center.
Police said the suspect approached Odom at around 8 a.m. and robbed him before shooting him. Odom was transported to a local hospital, where he later succumbed to his injuries.
Investigators presume that Odom sustained gunshot injuries after turning his property over to the suspect.
A senior member of the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association in a Land Line Digital report, said Odom worked for Travis Brown Trucking in Jonesborough. His friend and coworker Chris Boy said Odom, who had parked at the shopping center and stayed overnight in his truck, was scheduled to deliver his load at 8:30 a.m.
“If it would’ve held off another hour, he’d have been out of there and gone,” Boy said in a phone interview with Land Line.
Boy said this was the first time Odom had delivered a load at that location. He said his friend had been in Houston Sunday night making a delivery, and picked up a load from another broker to get to Baton Rouge. He said he’d spoken with Odom the night before he was killed.
“He was a great friend and a great person. He’d give you the shirt off his back,” Boy said. “Trucking was in his blood. He never had a bad thing to say about nobody. He always tried to help anybody he could.”
Devanté Williams, a manager at Barton's Surplus Warehouse, told the Baton Rouge Advocate that his company was expecting a delivery Tuesday from Travis Brown Trucking. Williams said offloading of trucks usually begins around 8:30 a.m.
Odom’s parents in Jonesborough had to adjust to the idea that their “teddy bear” and only child wasn’t coming home Tuesday.
“We know that those things do happen,” said Kenneth Odom, Keith Odom’s father. “His mother and I are trying to accept what happened and that he won’t come back through the door at 10 p.m. tonight.”
His said his son planned to return home at 1214 Old State Route 34 on Tuesday before leaving on another run Wednesday.
The younger Odom loved seeing the country and would always share the sites he saw with his parents, making recommendations for sightseeing trips and giving advice on routes to take. He had already given advice for his parent’s 50th wedding anniversary trip to Niagara Falls in September.
“He was wanting to be a truck driver from the time he was a little boy, 7 or 8 years old,” Odom said of his son. “All he ever wanted to do was drive. As soon as he was old enough, he got his license and he went on the road driving.”