A Carrollton man has been sentenced for killing his ex-wife. Mark Rhodes, 47, pleaded guilty to murder and armed criminal action two days into his jury trial last November.
The body of Tina Rhodes, of Bosworth, was found in rural Carroll County in September of 2010, and Mark was arrested later that day in the state of California.
During Wednesday’s proceedings, the prosecution pushed for Mark Rhodes to receive a sentence of life in prison. The defense requested less, citing his troubled childhood as a “mitigating circumstance.”
The State called two witnesses. One was an ex-girlfriend of Rhodes’, who cited their troubled relationship. She talked about circumstances in the past where the actions of Rhodes made her feel threatened or in danger. The second witness was Josh Thompson, a sergeant with the Higginsville Police Department. He is a member of the rural major case squad, and participated in the on-scene investigation of Tina Rhodes’ body.
Two victim impact statements were delivered. Tina Rhodes’ daughter and mother both spoke on the effects her death has had on their family. Tina’s daughter mourned the loss of her mother, and the fact that her children will not know their grandmother. She expressed her desire that Mark Rhodes spend the rest of his life in prison, saying, “I fear for my life if he gets out; I fear for my family.”
Tina Rhodes’ mother also gave a statement. She spoke about Tina and how much their big family misses her daughter. “Even though I have nine children, I only had one Tina,” said her mother.
The prosecution pushed for a life sentence, and accused him of always blaming his actions on other people.
The defense acknowledged the actions to which he’d pleaded guilty. However, they also cited his troubled youth. Rhodes’ father was killed in a plane crash when he was two, and his mother was into drugs. Mark was adopted at the age of four, into what his attorney described as a violent home with an alcoholic father. The attorney said these early issues led Rhodes to develop attachment issues. A concurrent sentence would make Rhodes eligible for parole at the age of 70. His attorney said, “the punishment needs to fit the crime, but there are mitigating circumstances.”
Judge David Miller ruled in favor of the prosecution. Rhodes received life in prison on the murder count, plus 15 years for the count of armed criminal action. Those will run consecutive to each other. This means Rhodes will never be eligible for parole.