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Prineville Man Sentenced to Over 7 Years for Manslaughter, DUII, and Assault
08/07/2009
Jefferson County District Attorney's Office

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On August 18th, 2008, TODD A. RHODEN, age 46, from Prineville, was eastbound on Highway 26 near Madras when he crossed the centerline and struck a westbound minivan operated by ELIZABETH DUKE, age 38, of Clackamas. DUKE was killed in the collision.  Her husband, PAUL DUKE, and their seven year old son, JACOB DUKE, were injured in the collision. A passenger in RHODEN's vehicle, TARYN GIBSON, was injured as well. Two other passengers in RHODEN's vehicle were not injured.
 

On August 4, 2009, RHODEN, appeared in front of Jefferson County Circuit Court Judge, Gary Williams, and was sentenced to a total of 90 months in prison for causing the death of ELIZABETH DUKE, among other charges.

 
As a result of the collision and subsequent Oregon State Police investigation, RHODEN pled No Contest to the following crimes and received the following sentence:
  • One count of Manslaughter in the Second Degree, a Measure 11 crime, for causing the death of DUKE. He received 75 months and must serve the entire sentence.
  • Three counts of Assault in the Third Degree for the injuries he caused to PAUL DUKE, JACOB DUKE, and TARYN GIBSON. He received 15 months, which will be served concurrent with each other.
  • One count of DUII. He received twelve months, which is the maximum sentence permitted under law.
 
In addition, RHODEN will lose his Oregon driving privileges for five years.
 
The state, during the plea/sentencing hearing, also put on evidence of the defendant's criminal history. The defendant had a Criminally Negligent Homicide conviction in Crook County in 1985. At that time RHODEN had operated a vehicle that had crashed in Prineville, killing a passenger. That charge was treated as a misdemeanor conviction.

 
This case was investigated by the Oregon State Police with assistance from the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office, Oregon State Police Forensic Laboratory, Madras Police Department, Prineville Police Department and the Jefferson County District Attorney's Office.