Livingston Resident Cynthia Duplechain Sentenced to 25 Years in Prison for Murder, LIVINGSTON, July 3, 2008 - District Judge Elizabeth Coker handed down a 25 year prison sentence to Cynthia Duplechain on Tuesday, July 1, 2008 for the December 8, 2007 shooting of Raymond Keith Rhodes, 52, of the Shelter Cove Subdivision of Polk County. Duplechain plead guilty in return for 25 years, thus waiving her right to a jury trial and any future appeals. Duplechain could possibly get parole in 12 and 1/2 years. Polk County Sheriff's Deputies were called to the Shelter Cove Subdivision on December 8th, 2007 after family members found Rhodes with a gunshot wound to the head. Rhodes was flown to Hermann Hospital in Houston where he died a three days later. After investigators appealed to the public for information in the murder, a nearby resident came forward and said that a gun of the same type that was used to murder Rhodes was missing from his home and that Duplechain had frequented his house. This lead to the January 11th arrest of Duplechain for a firearm theft. According to statements, the murder weapon had allegedly been thrown into Lake Livingston. Ballistic tests showed that shell casings found at the scene of the crime matched shell casings from the residence where the gun was stolen. Duplechain was charged with murder on February 8th and her bond was set at $100,000. Duplechain's Daughter, Amy Duplechain has also been charged with murder in connection with Rhodes' death. Amy Duplechain has been released on a conditional bond.
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The whole episode got uglier when the windshield of the witness had been busted allegedly by Duplechain's son, Charles Denton. Denton was alleged to have tried to intimidate the witness. Denton was arrested for the act of vandalism. Denton was on parole for a drug charge and the parole was revoked thus putting Denton back in jail for the remaining four years of his sentence. While in jail, Denton made phone calls to a brother Louis Duplechain, and a friend, Jessie Hamilton. The calls were recorded by the Polk County Sheriff's Department and the calls revealed the men were plotting to have Hamilton take the blame for the vandalized car to help Denton avoid going back to prison. Hamilton allegedly perjured himself when he told D.A. Investigator Mark Jones that he had thrown a beer bottle while at the club and accidentally broke the windshield. Charges against Hamilton are still pending. On Tuesday, Denton plead guilty to tampering with evidence in Judge Coker's Court (the same session in which his mother was sentenced). Denton's brother, Louis Duplechain also plead guilty to tampering with evidence. Both brothers were sentenced to 10 years probation with a fine and court costs. After all was said and done, Amy Duplechain claimed that Rhodes had been giving her drugs and forced her into sexual activity and that that's the reason her mother murdered Rhodes. District Attorney Lee Hon said that there has been no confirmed claim of sexual assault, and that it was totally speculative.
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