Green River Star -

By Stephanie Thompson
People Editor 

Spitter will go to prison


A man who pleaded guilty to spitting on a Sweetwater County Detention officer will serve prison time for his actions.

Keith Allen Rhodes, 40, of Rock Springs, appeared in the Third District Court of Judge Nena James at a change of plea and sentencing hearing to five felonies, two counts of aggravated assault and battery, interference with a peace officer and two counts of aggravated assault and battery on a detention officer.

The two aggravated assault and battery on a detention officer counts stem from Rhodes allegedly spitting on the officers when he knew he had Hepatitis C.

In exchange for Rhodes’ guilty plea to one count of interference with a peace officer and one count of assault and battery on a corrections or detention officer, the other charges were dismissed. He was given two four to eight-year prison sentences, which will run concurrently with credit given for 147 days of pre-sentence confinement.

According to court documents, on Nov. 24, 2015, at about 3:20 a.m. Rock Springs Police officers responded to a stabbing report. Upon arrival, officers found Benny Fajardo on the ground with a stab wound on the left side of his torso. Fajardo informed the officers that Rhodes was the one who stabbed him and then ran away. Fajardo was transported to the Memorial Hospital of Sweetwater County.

Officers located Rhodes and started placing him under arrest. At first, Rhodes was cooperative, but then he started acting belligerently toward the officers. Rhodes started moving around and head butted one of the officers. This officer had a red mark on his head where Rhodes allegedly struck him.

On the way to the Sweetwater County Detention Center, Rhodes asked where the camera was, looked at it and then admitted to stabbing Fajardo.

When Rhodes arrived at the detention center, he continued to act belligerently throughout the booking process. Two RSPD officers assisted Sweetwater County Detention deputies in putting Rhodes in a cell, he spat in one of the officer’s and one of the deputy’s faces and yelled “Take that (expletive) Hep C.” The deputy was concerned because some of the spit went into his eye.

Both the deputy and the officer agreed Rhodes purposely spat at them in an attempt to cause them bodily injury by exposing them to Hepatitis C.

As soon as Rhodes was in the cell, both the officer and deputy went to the hospital for treatment.


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