Trial delayed for suspect in 20-year-old woman's killing

Victim's mother speaks about anguish waiting for trial


JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – James Rhodes was in court Tuesday for a pretrial hearing on a murder charge, where his lawyers raised questions about his intellectual ability to stand trial in the death of Shelby Farah.

Shelby Farah, 20, was shot and killed during a robbery at a Brentwood Metro PCS store last year.

A motion hearing set for Tuesday afternoon was moved to Aug. 26, and now the judge has postponed the trial indefinitely until court records can determine if Rhodes is mentally able to stand trial.

Waiting for justice is beginning to take a toll on Shelby Farah's mother, Darlene Farah.

"We just want it to be over with so we can try to move on with our lives, and school's about to start and just the suspense of knowing what's going to happen -- it's about to drive me crazy," said Darlene Farah. 

Darlene Farah told News4Jax that she wants to be at every hearing and every court date of the man accused of killing her daughter. The defense in the case is trying to block the state from seeking the death penalty against Rhodes.

Darlene Farah said in her eyes it can only be a death penalty case and that she won't lose faith in the system.

"You're talking about a death penalty case," she said. "I know it's going to take time, but every time a court date is scheduled for the motion, I think once I get past the court hearing of knowing whether or not the state can seek the death penalty or not, I think it's going to be a little easier."

It's been over a year since prosecutors said Rhodes killed Shelby Farah. Darlene Farah said that she is still in pain and her daughter's death takes a lot out of her most days.

"(I have) faith -- my two children and a lot of people in the community that I don't even know. I mean, they come up to me and the emotional support from the community is just, I can't even describe it -- compassionate families. Don't get me wrong, I mean, I cry every day, but I know I have to keep fighting, but it's hard," said Darlene Farah.