Aberdeen man sentenced to 7 1/2 years for June 16 shooting death

An Aberdeen man was sentenced Friday morning to 7 ½ years in prison for the June 16 shooting death of David Alan Rhodes in Junction City.

Brayton Jay Pascoe, 26, entered a guilty plea in November to second-degree manslaughter, second-degree unlawful possession of a firearm and possession of heroin with the intent to deliver.

Prosecutor Katie Svoboda said she believed the maximum sentence – 90 months for manslaughter and 60 months each for the other two counts, to be served concurrently – was most applicable “and should be imposed.”

Speaking on behalf of Rhodes was his 10-year-old daughter, who read a poem about the things she would miss with the absence of her father.

“No more tomorrows,” she said, referring to skate nights, daddy-daughter date nights, letters on birthdays from her father and other things the two enjoyed. “I love you daddy,” she said.

Rhodes’ mother recalled the morning of June 16 when a pounding at her door preceded the “news that David had been murdered.” Her voice broke as she described her son as an intelligent, caring young man who was trying to get his life back on the right track while dealing with his own addictions.

She talked about the night of the shooting, how Pascoe allegedly was offering her son drugs in return for cleaning Pascoe’s shop. Court documents show Pascoe was “scouting” Rhodes to see if he could be trusted. Pascoe would place a bag of heroin on his own lap and nod off. After awakening several times to find the drugs missing, Rhodes allegedly sprayed Pascoe with bear spray and Pascoe shot Rhodes several times.

She asked the court to impose the longest sentence allowed, which she said “doesn’t seem enough for such a heinous crime.”

Pascoe’s attorney, Christopher Baum, asked for the “standard sentence” of 6 ½ years, saying Pascoe has been impacted by the incident “in a way that is hard to describe” and intends to use his incarceration to better himself, to become a productive member of society and be a father to his son.

Pascoe spoke briefly, saying he apologized to Rhodes’ family and friends and intended to take steps to change his life.

Superior Court Judge David L. Mistachkin said the case is a “prime example of why drugs and guns don’t mix.” He said Pascoe “created the situation” that led to Rhodes’ death by dealing drugs and unlawfully possessing, and retrieving, the firearm used in the offense. Pascoe had previous felony convictions that made it illegal to possess a firearm.

Mistachkin handed down the 90-month sentence, which was the maximum allowed under the state’s sentencing guidelines. He said he felt the sentence was too short considering the crime, but said his “hands are 100 percent tied” by the guidelines set by the state.