Brother describes watching video of sister's murder

Video of killing shown to brother prompts complaint of misconduct

By Vic Micolucci - I-TEAM reporter, anchor

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Caleb Farah was 16 years old in 2013 when his sister, Shelby Farah, was shot and killed during the robbery of a Northside cellphone store.

The victim's mother, Darlene Farah, has been very vocal about the case, including opposing prosecution plans to seek the death penalty for James Rhodes, who is accused of killing Shelby Farah after she handed over money.

Rhodes' defense team said he is willing to plead guilty if the death penalty is taken off the table, which Darlene Farah prefers because the will be no trial and no appeals.

The victim's brother, Caleb Farah, who wants the killer executed, talked to News4Jax about the very public fight between prosecutors and defense attorneys about the fate of Rhodes.

Three years later, Caleb Farah is talking with us about a public fight between prosecutors and defense attorneys about the fate of Rhodes, whose latest trial date is in May.

The fight escalated to a claim of legal misconduct by prosecutors after Caleb Farah was shown video surveillance from the MetroPCS store of his sister's death. Legally, video of a killing can be only shown to the victim's parents, unless they authorize others to see it.

Caleb Farah said it was his decision to watch the surveillance video, not the State Attorney's Office, but lead prosecutor Bernie De La Rionda was with him at the time.

"I don't even think she said, 'Here's the money,' because I didn't even see her mouth moving at all. It was one of those (freeze), and then he just shot," Caleb Farah said. "There are 1,000 things running through my mind at one time. I get headaches. I think about what she said, if she even said anything. ... It was bad. It was almost like I am playing 'Grand Theft Auto' and I shoot someone for no reason. No emotion."

Shelby Farah

That's one reason he disagrees with his mother and wants the killer be executed, because the man in the video prosecutors identified as Rhodes was eerily calm, like a video game.

"The lack of remorse and sympathy is amazing," Caleb Farah said..

He said losing his sister, who he said was his best friend, has been a nightmare, and prosecutors and defense attorneys butting heads over whether Rhodes should face execution has made it worse.

James Rhodes

Both side sparred in court last week. Darlene Farah testified that she agreed with the defense's claim that the state attorney's office showed the surveillance footage to her son to influence him to support the death penalty against Rhodes.

Caleb Farah said there is also friction between him and his mother, but added, "Who doesn't differ with their parents sometimes?"

But Caleb Farah said he won't change his mind about the death penalty, and neither will his mother.

"Whatever anyone says to me, it is not going to change," he said.

Rhodes is currently set to go on trial in May.

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