15 years for drug-deal death

Post-Tribune - - Post-Tribune Local - SPE­CIAL TO THE TRI­BUNE

Lake Su­pe­rior Court Judge Diane Ross Boswell sen­tenced a Chicago man to 15 years in pri­son on Fri­day for vol­un­tary man­slaugh­ter in a mar­i­juana deal that went awry in Ham­mond.

Bar­ring­ton Rhodes, 46, apol­o­gized to the fam­ily of Clyde Lee, who was found ly­ing half­way out of his van on Dec. 22, 2009, in the park­ing lot of the Wal­mart, 1828 165th St., in Ham­mond.

In court Dec. 12, Rhodes ad­mit­ted when he was ques­tioned by de­fense at­tor­ney Matthew Fech that he and Lee had been in com­mu­ni­ca­tion for a month or two about a drug deal and even­tu­ally agreed to meet at the Ham­mond store. While Rhodes was buy­ing drugs from Lee, a strug­gle en­sued over a gun that Lee, a se­cu­rity guard, had in his pos­ses­sion. The gun dis­charged and Lee was wounded in the left ab­domen.

Court records in­di­cate that Rhodes was iden­ti­fied as a sus­pect in the case through DNA anal­y­sis on a knit hat found at the crime scene. He was charged in Jan­uary 2013, more than three years af­ter the homi­cide.

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