In an exclusive interview with Action News Jax, the man who killed 20-year-old Shelby Farah speaks for the first time about the murder.
Action News Jax’s Bridgette Matter talked Tuesday with convicted killer James Rhodes and asked him why he pulled the trigger.
Rhodes talked about the day he killed Farah. He said his life sentence is well-deserved and said while Shelby’s mother Darlene Farah has forgiven him, he hasn't forgiven himself.
“It eases me a little bit that she forgave me but I gotta forgive myself,” Rhodes said.
Rhodes, 25, will spend the rest of his life in a state prison for killing Shelby Farah at a Metro PCS store where she worked in 2013.
“I think anyone watching this they really want to know why you did it. You knew Shelby, she complied with what you did, but you still killed her,” Matter said.
“God knows and the mom knows. To me, God forgave me, the mom forgave me. That's all I can say on that,” Rhodes said.
Rhodes sat shackled in front of our cameras, opening up about his past, having been in prison before, a criminal lifestyle that led him to July 20, 2013, when Shelby Farah stood on the other side of Rhodes’ gun.
He never answers why he pulled the trigger.
“Shelby gave you the money. Why did you kill her?” Matter asked Rhodes.
“I would rather not talk about that,” Rhodes said.
Her death set off nearly four years of hearings and a battle over whether Rhodes should get the death penalty. Shelby's mother was against it.
“Every time I walk into the courtroom, it took the life out of me,” Darlene Farah said at Rhodes’ sentencing hearing March 2.
His life sentence finally put an end to this case for both Darlene Farah and Rhodes.
“At the end of the day, that's all I really ask for is her forgiveness, which I got. But now I’m stuck with I gotta learn how to forgive myself,” Rhodes said.
“Have you forgiven yourself?” Matter asked.
“Not fully,” Rhodes said.
Rhodes said he wants to find a purpose in prison and keep other young people from making the same mistakes.
“There’s a lot of things you can be doing than hanging out in the streets cause at the end of the day the streets ain’t going to get you nothing but dead or in jail,” Rhodes said.
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