Accused killer's conversation with girlfriend released

Murdered woman's mom reads transcript of jailhouse talk

By Scott Johnson - Reporter, Francine Frazier - Senior web editor

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - James Rhodes is charged with first-degree murder in the 2013 death of 20-year-old Shelby Farah, who was shot and killed during a robbery at a Brentwood Metro PCS store.

On Monday, News4Jax obtained transcripts of a lengthy phone conversation between Rhodes and his girlfriend, Crystal Lewis.

In the conversation, which took place last year, Rhodes talked often to Lewis about how hard the process of being in jail is after murder charges were filed against him.

Shelby Farah's mom, Darlene Farah, said she just went back to the family's old house and packed up Shelby's things recently. She was also in court with Rhodes last week, where his trial was pushed back as the court waits on results from a doctor concerning whether Rhodes is mentally disabled.

Darlene Farah read the transcript of Rhodes' conversation Monday night and was bothered by a lot of it.

"I don't see how they filed a motion wanting to claim (he's) intellectually disabled when a lot of the things he's saying here... I don't get it. It's upsetting," Darlene Farah said. "Especially when you read that he doesn't really care. He's not worried about nothing."

DOCUMENT:  Full transcript of Rhodes' jailhouse conversation (starts on page 16)
Note: Transcript contains some graphic language

In one excerpt, Rhodes and Lewis talk about the possibility of the death penalty.

Rhodes: "I ain't going down like this, God."
Lewis: "Man, they said you gonna lose. They are seeking the death penalty."
Rhodes: "What?"
Lewis: "The death penalty."
Rhodes: "(Expletive), I ain't man."
Lewis: "Man, that the girl's mama. Man, when I seen that girl's mama (inaudible) and cried like."
Rhodes: "Who?"
Lewis: "Her mama."
Rhodes: "Her mama? Man, I love you."
Lewis: "I love you, too."
Rhodes: "I ain't going down like this."

The two also discussed their own stress. Rhodes said he felt alone and Lewis said she's not sure what to say about Rhodes publicly in the press.

Rhodes: "If you don't do nothing else for me, babe, please stay by my side, cuz I ain't got nobody else, babe."

Lewis: "Man, I got the freaking news people trying to call me and everything. They want me to go on TV and talk about. I'm like, 'No.' … But the lady wants me to say something positive about you instead of something negative like everybody is saying. And even if I do say something positive, them people gonna look at me like I'm crazy."

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