Former Cannibal Corpse guitarist Pat O’Brien has been sentenced following his 2018 arrest for burglary and assault. He now faces time served plus 150 hours of community service, five years probation and to pay $23,793.45 in restitution. O’Brien will also be subjected to random drug and alcohol testing, a drug and alcohol evaluation, and has been ordered to abstain from alcohol and controlled substances.
Back on December 10, 2018, O’Brien, who had been living in Northdale, Florida, broke into a neighbor’s home screaming about “the rapture” and someone following him (the home’s owner believed O’Brien was hallucinating), pushed a woman to the ground and hid in their backyard. Upon being apprehended by police, he then lunged at officers with a knife before being subdued with a stun gun. He was arrested for “burglary of an occupied dwelling with assault,” and “aggravated assault on a law enforcement officer.”
While this was happening, the home O’Brien had been renting less than a mile away was going up in flames. The blaze took more than an hour to contain as there were live rounds of ammunition being set off by the fire. Once out, authorities discovered an entire arsenal of weaponry that included “50 shotguns, 20 semiautomatic rifles, two Uzi-style firearms, 20 handguns and two flamethrowers,” among other “potentially explosive devices.”
He was released December 14, 2018 on $50,000 bond and a clean drug test.
Said Cannibal Corpse in a statement made a couple days after O’Brien’s arrest, “As a band and as individuals, we all want nothing but the best for our brother and partner, Pat. While we can offer no further information about the incident, we wanted everyone to know that Pat is getting the help he needs and appreciates the love and support from Cannibal Corpse fans around the world.” Frontman George “Corpsegrinder” Fisher elaborated in an interview with ‘The Jasta Show’ months later, “We wish the best for him, and we’re just waiting to see [what happens]. He’s got a road ahead of him still with legal issues, and that’s out of our hands. We support him 100 percent; we’re behind him 100 percent.”
In February, Cannibal Corpse announced that Hate Eternal guitarist Erik Rutan would be officially joining the band. Rutan had filled in for O’Brien during the band’s 2019 “Decibel” tour and their North American dates opening for Slayer.
Cannibal Corpse released their 15th studio album, Violence Unimagined, on April 16, 2021. It is the band’s first album to feature Rutan on guitar.