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Rhodes faces manslaughter charges after hit and run

Posted 8/22/12 (Wed)

By Neal A. Shipman
Farmer Editor

A 22-year-old Otis Orchards, Wash., man is facing manslaughter charges, along with four other felony charges, following a hit and run south of Watford City on Aug. 14. The incident resulted in the death of one individual and the injury to two other people.
According to Captain John Fulwider of the McKenzie County Sheriff’s Dept., his office was notified at 3:37 a.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 14 of a hit and run accident at the Willbros Pipeline yard south of Watford City.
“A group of individuals was drinking when an argument ensued,” stated Fulwider. “Rhodes took off in a vehicle and ran into three people.”
According to Fulwider, the McKenzie County Ambulance Service transported two of the hit and run victims to the McKenzie County Hospital, while the third individual refused to see a doctor.
“Brian Charles Neal, 26, was pronounced dead on arrival at the McKenzie County Hospital, while the other victim, Jake Clarence Schwartz, 26, was treated for his injuries and then released,” stated Fulwider.
Rhodes, who left the scene of the accident, was arrested at his residence in Watford City without incident by members of the Watford City Police Dept. with assistance from the McKenzie County Sheriff’s Dept. and the North Dakota Highway Patrol and taken to the McKenzie County Corrections Center.
Rhodes is being charged with manslaughter, a Class B felony, along with three counts of reckless endangerment, Class C felonies, and leaving the scene of an accident involving a fatality, a Class B felony.
Rhodes posted a $10,000 bond on Wednesday and was released from custody.
The accident remains under investigation by the North Dakota Bureau of Criminal Investigation, the McKenzie County Sheriff’s Dept. and the Watford City Police Dept.