In a move that shocked the court, Robert Rho accepted a previously offered plea bargain and admitted his guilt to Felony Negligent Homicide immediately after the judge announced that the jury had reached a verdict in this three-week trial.
Rho will be sentenced and will surrender into custody on July 26, 2018, after which he will serve between 16 months and four years in prison for killing Jaime Lee Morales during a horrifically botched second trimester abortion.
“Robert Rho killed Jaime Morales and has now grudgingly admitted his crime. He will pay for that crime in prison, so we are satisfied with the outcome even though we had hoped for a conviction on the more serious charge,” said Troy Newman, President of Operation Rescue.
Rho was on trial for Second Degree Manslaughter, a Class C Felony that carried a penalty of up to 15 years in prison.
“I suspect Rho took the plea deal once he realized the jury was about to convict him,” said Newman.
The plea agreement required Rho to admit his crime in court, which he was reticent to do. At first, he simply stated that he had lacerated the victim’s cervix, repaired in twice, then sent her home where she died unexpectedly.
That statement was insufficient to meet the terms of a confession.
Finally, under questioning from his defense attorney Jeff Lichtman, Rho admitted through clenched teeth that he killed Morales.
Earlier, on this third day of jury deliberations, the jury had told Judge Gregory Lasak that they could not reach an agreement on a verdict. Judge Lasak instructed them to go back and continue deliberations to see if they could finally come to an agreement.
Hours later, a verdict was indeed reached, but Rho’s acceptance of the plea bargain agreement meant that the verdict would never be known.
The Morales family was upset that they had endured a full three weeks of trial where the reputation of their daughter was attacked, only to be denied a jury verdict.
“We have great sympathy for the Morales family for the loss they have suffered. Their grief was only compounded by Rho’s selfish and erratic behavior that first denied them the life of their loved one, then denied them the closure a verdict would have brought,” said Newman. “I pray that during his incarceration he might reflect on the harm he has caused and come to repentance through Jesus Christ.”
LifeNews.com Note: Cheryl Sullenger is a leader of Operation Rescue.