Man gets 99 years for injury to elderly

October 5, 2013

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A 50-year-old man who served time in federal prison, Mississippi and Texas was sentenced to 99 years in the penitentiary after being convicted of hitting his 77-year-old stepfather with a chair, according to District Attorney Rob Christian.

Donald Gene Rhoades, who at the time of the January incident was living with his girlfriend and his mother and stepfather in Ports O’ Call, was convicted of felony injury to the elderly by a jury on Sept. 25 in 355th Judicial District Court.

The jury’s sentence, enhanced by his criminal record from the usual range of 2 to 10 years to 25 to 99 years, still leaves Rhoades eligible for parole, with good behavior, after just under 15 years.

Rhoades had been convicted of five felony offenses – conspiracy to manufacture methamphetamine, possession of meth, motor vehicle theft, driving while intoxicated maiming and unauthorized use of a motor vehicle.

The girlfriend refused to cooperate with law enforcement or press assault charges, but ended up testifying, Christian added.

“Rhoades’ stepfather decided to arm himself with a hand-held stun gun to protect himself,” Christian stated.

On Jan. 7, when Rhoades was assaulting his girlfriend, his stepfather brandished the stun gun and told him to stop, the DA said.

Rhoades struck him with a chair, Christian said. The step-father sustained minor injuries, but pressed charges.

Rhoades’ girlfriend testified that her relationship with Rhoades “was one of constant terror and manipulation, pain, physical slaps, punches, kicks and teeth knocked out,” Christian stated.

“The jury ensured that the victim and his wife will never again live in fear of this defendant,” Christian said.

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