OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – A metro caretaker was sentenced to 10 years in prison for assaulting and killing a 75-year-old Air Force veteran with Alzheimer’s disease back in 2017, but with time served, he could be out in less than 7.
Rocky Rhines, a former caretaker turned convicted murderer, was seen walking out of the courtroom with a beaming smile Monday afternoon.
“Maybe one day we will talk,” Rocky Rhines tells News 4 reporter Peyton Yager.
That day could happen in less than a decade.
An Oklahoma County judge sentenced Rhines to prison for killing 75-year-old Michael Richard in December 2017.
A jury convicted Rhines of squeezing the elderly man’s head so hard he died of severe damage to the brain.
“It would be our fault as a society to let him out in my opinion,” Jeff Richard said.
Richard was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and reliant on Rhines to care for him.
The 75-year-old Air Force major was found locked inside his home days before Christmas unresponsive and bleeding from his brain.
Richard’s two sons are still stunned saying there were never any warning signs.
“I can’t get it out of my head that he said ‘remember the game clue? If I had a candlestick I would’ve beat him over the head with that instead,’” Jeff Richard said.
Rhines admitted to police he also punched Richard more than 30 times, claiming all of it was in self-defense.
But the Richard family isn’t buying it.
“No remorse the whole time,” Marc Richard. “No remorse and no sense of guilt.”
Rhines was seen smiling and laughing in the courtroom Monday as his fate is sealed.
News 4 asked him why as he was escorted away in handcuffs.
“Is there really nothing you want to say?” News 4 Reporter Peyton Yager said.
“No,” Rhines said. “There is nothing for me I want to say. I am sorry.”
“Why were you smiling and chucking today?” Peyton Yager said.
“I am not chucking,” Rhines said. “Please. Chuckle? Come on. This is not called chuckling.”
Meanwhile, the Richard brothers tell News 4 they are left with an unsettling feeling knowing their father’s killer could breathe the same air sooner than they would’ve hoped.
“It’s beastly,” Jeff Richard said. “It’s animalistic.”
Even though the judge sentenced Rhines to 10 years, he is credited for the 2 years he has already served.
Plus, if he has good behavior and since he has no prior problems with the law, he could be eligible to get out in 6 and a half years.