Judge gives Rhodes three years in prison

MARIETTA – A former Little Hocking man was sentenced Friday in Washington County Common Pleas Court to three years in prison for theft-related offenses.

Wayne Rhodes, 24, of 6944 Circle 33 Road, Nelsonville, received a one-year prison sentence on each of three offenses to which he pleaded guilty Sept. 27.

“In an effort to resolve the three cases that came in one after the other, the state agreed to recommend one-year sentences on each … and if he’s an acceptable candidate and there are no behavioral issues we won’t oppose judicial release to SEPTA after a year,” said Washington County Assistant Prosecutor Jared Erb.

Rhodes was sentenced on two fifth-degree felony counts of theft and a fifth-degree felony count of receiving stolen property.

In December, he was indicted on the receiving stolen property charge after he was found to be in possession of a stolen 1993 Honda Prelude.

The car was recovered, but was damaged, said Erb.

Rhodes was next indicted in March for the two theft charges – the first for stealing his ex-girlfriend’s credit card and racking up more than $1,000 in charges and the second for taking his uncle’s checks and issuing them to himself, said Erb.

Erb requested $3,493, $1,007, and $980 restitution in the three cases.

“I can’t order restitution unless he has assets. That is something we can address after he gets out (of prison),” said Washington County Common Pleas Court Judge Ed Lane.

Rhodes stood and apologized for the thefts.

“I am sorry for the things I’ve done,” he told Lane.

Lane asked Rhodes if he knew why he habitually committed crimes.

“Yes,” said Rhodes. “Drugs.”

Lane agreed he would consider sending Rhodes to the SEPTA Correctional Facility after Rhodes had served one year with no behavioral issues. He stipulated that a pending warrant for Rhodes’ arrest from another county is resolved by that time.

“That will be resolved within the next week,” said Rhodes’ attorney Ray Smith.

Lane cited Rhodes’ “chronically delinquent” history, including multiple other thefts, drug and driving offenses, when issuing the maximum consecutive sentences.

Rhodes has previously served a prison sentence and was under supervision when he committed the current crimes, said Lane.