U.S. Attorney’s Office
Northern District of Florida
(850) 942-8430
July 9, 2015

Bristol Man Pleads Guilty to Domestic Violence Charges

PENSACOLA, FL—Robert W. McCandless, 38, of Bristol, Florida, pled guilty today to interstate domestic violence and interstate violation of a protection order. The plea was announced by Pamela C. Marsh, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Florida.

During his plea, McCandless admitted to violating a protection order by unlawfully entering the victim’s residence on January 16, 2015. McCandless and the victim had lived together for approximately five years and had two children. After attempting to strangle the victim with a communications cord, McCandless forced her and their children to leave Liberty County with him in the victim’s vehicle. Approximately eight hours later, law enforcement agents pulled over the victim’s vehicle in South Carolina and arrested McCandless. The victim received medical treatment for injuries consistent with strangulation. Law enforcement agents obtained a search warrant for the victim’s residence and found evidence of an assault. The communications cord was also analyzed and found to have the victim’s blood and DNA on it.

Sentencing is scheduled for October 1, 2015, at 9:00 a.m. at the United States Courthouse in Tallahassee, Florida. McCandless faces a maximum of ten years’ imprisonment on each separate count of conviction.

The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, the Liberty County Sheriff’s Office, and the Clarendon County Sheriff’s Office in South Carolina, whose joint investigation led to the charges in this case. It was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Stephen M. Kunz.

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. The office strives to protect and serve the citizens of the Northern District of Florida through the ethical, vigorous, and impartial enforcement of the laws of the United States, to defend the national security, to improve the safety and quality of life in our communities through the protection of civil rights, and to protect the public funds and financial assets of the United States. 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 http://www.justice.gov/usao/fln/index.html.

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