Rhoades Sentenced

CELINA — Bryant Rhoades — who remained defiant and professed his innocence throughout his sentencing — will spend the rest of his natural life behind bars without the possibility of parole for his role in the aggravated murders of Colleen and Robert Grube in November 2011.

Rhoades was sentenced to two consecutive terms of life in prison without the possibility of parole during a lengthy court hearing Tuesday afternoon in Mercer County Common Pleas Court. Earlier in the hearing, Rhoades entered a guilty plea by way of an Alford plea to two counts each of aggravated murder, with gun specifications, aggravated robbery and aggravated burglary in a plea agreement struck with prosecutors that dismissed the death penalty specifications in the aggravated murder charges. An Alford plea allows a defendant to maintain his or her innocence but admits the state has enough evidence to more than likely obtain a conviction in the case.

During the hearing, Rhoades indicated his desire to use an Alford plea because he was unwilling to roll the dice at a trial and risk a death penalty sentence if convicted. Rhoades indicated he believes he is innocent but that he could not prove it. He also claimed he made false statements to detectives.