One year after domestic violence killing, the couple’s young son writes a powerful message

FOX Files

ST. CHARLES, Mo. – Catherine Rhodes was shot to death a year ago Mother’s Day. Her killer was her husband of four years, Jamal Rhodes. In February it appeared as if his case would soon be adjudicated, but closed courtrooms and a defiant defendant have prolonged the pain for Catherine’s St. Charles County family.

Catherine Rhodes was shot to death by her husband Jamal on May 11th, 2019. Their three children – ages 3, 4 and 8 were home.

Their oldest, wrote the Judge a victim impact statement that said in part, (We did not correct the eight year old’s spelling and grammar). “she wont see my progress as in finishing grades marage when i marched around the school with a torch bc of good grades i lost a dad and mom i feel angry at J who i no longer except as dad.”

Catherine’s sister Kim Shaw was in court when he read it. “We’re glad to see the judge is taking this seriously and hearing from us and their own child.”

Kim says family was trying to get Catherine out of her abusive relationship. She said her sister was “…just blinded by love and she thought that he would change.”

We reported in February how Jamal Rhodes turned down a 20-year plea deal.

Then he appeared to change his mind and ask for the deal. In a later hearing, a judge suggested a 37 year sentence. Now it appears a plea deal could be scratched entirely – for trial.

Shaw added, “I will wait as long as it takes to see him get the longest sentence possible. The idea of him getting only 20 years was a joke to us because she only got 29 years on this earth and that was it. The fact that he could get less than that as a punishment for taking his life just didn’t seem fitting.”

Catherine’s family released balloons in her memory this past Mother’s Day – the one year anniversary of her death. Kim says the kids, who are now living with grandma – are healing. She said, “They know that they’re safe. They know that they’re not going to be yelled at or abused. They’re able to just be kids.”

Monday’s hearing resulted in another delay. A new judge will take over – and a new defense attorney – as Catherine Rhodes family focuses on the good memories that she created as an amazing mother.

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