Timothy Leggett stands with his lawyer (Tom Brown) and listens as he receives the maximum punishment of 99 years in prison.
Jury Gives Leggett 99 Years in Prison for the Murder of Rhett Lathan, LIVINGSTON, November 25, 2013 - A Polk County Jury handed down the maximum punishment of 99 years in prison to 32 year old Timothy Eugene Legget of Livingston. Earlier in the day, that same jury took only 8 minutes to find Leggett guilty of murder. During punishment phase arguments, prosecutor, and District Attorney, William Lee Hon stated to the jury that Leggett was cavalier and had a mean spirited attitude towards law enforcement, and was concerned only for himself. A tearful Tabatha Lathan (Rhett Lathan's mother) spoke from the witness stand. She stated that after the crime she went months without decent sleep and still only sleeps for about 3 hours a night. She struggled to talk "I have dreams, and most of the time, I'm looking for Rhett", "I run into the woods looking for him". "To wake up is like a stab in the heart". She continued, "I miss having Rhett to talk to, I miss taking care of him, I go into his room everyday, he was me and my husband's life". "I loved everything about him". "He liked being with us and now he's by himself". "I think about him every second of the day". "I still find his baseballs and golf balls out in the pasture, he's everywhere, but nowhere".
Rhett's father, Brian took the witness stand and was emotional as he told the jury how him and Rhett would watch baseball games together on television. "We were competitive with each other". "He would make me pick a team and he would pick the other team". "Now I can't watch baseball anymore".
The jury took around an hour to return the verdict of 99 years. Leggett stood silently and appeared to show no emotion as the punishment was read to him by District Judge, Kaycee Jones.
During impact statements, Tabatha Lathan spoke directly to Leggett; "You're coldness and lies that you told over and over again are shocking to me". "You took more from our family than you'll ever know". "Rhett was more of a man than you'll ever be" "You lied over and over again when my son wasn't here to defend himself". "I hope you think about what you did everyday while your sitting in that prison cell". "Everyone loved Rhett, even the nurses at the hospital as he was dying". "Even in his death he made a bigger statement than you'll ever make".
Brian Lathan also spoke directly to Leggett, and ordered Leggett to stand up an look at him while he was being spoken to. "You can't, can you"? "That's because you're a coward". He challenged Leggett again, "Come on boy"! "Stand up"! "For once, be a man, and look at me". "You didn't have a problem looking at my son through the scope of your rifle". "Now look at me in the face when I talk to you". Lathan looked back at Leggett's father and said "This piece of trash you raised killed my son". He continued speaking directly to Timothy Leggett, "I don't expect to see you in heaven cause the Bible says that murderers will be cast into the lake of fire". "You've ruined a lot of lives boy, now you're still not man enough to look at me"! "Coward". Lathan then looked at deputies and said "I'm done with him".
Timothy Leggett will have to serve a minimum of 30 years before being eligible for parole.
District Attorney, Lee Hon urged a Polk County jury to give Timothy Leggett the maximum punishment of 99 years in prison.
Timothy Leggett enters the courtroom to receive his punishment. Leggett's lawyer, Tom Brown is also pictured at left and District Attorney Lee Hon (right).
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