“I’ve been a prosecutor since 1979,” said Steve Smith, as Christina Ng reports for ABC News, “and it was one of the rare occasions when I was in the court where the defendant walked in and you felt the evil. The hairs on my arm stand up right now talking about it.”
Smith was the prosecutor on a case involving violent crime – but this wasn’t your standard type of violent crime, like armed robbery. This was a case in which a truck driver kept a torture chamber hidden in his big rig.
Already in prison for murdering a girl in 1990, 66-year-old Robert Ben Rhoades was recently given another life sentence for murdering a newlywed couple around the same time as the girl.
As Ng reports, the sentences are “stacked,” meaning that Rhoades is likely to spend the rest of his life behind bars.
Rhoades’s torture chamber included a hidden “dungeon-like compartment” with handcuffs suspended from the ceiling.
As troubling as the facts of this particular case, we found prosecutor Steve Smith’s quote interesting. Smith said that he had been a prosecutor for a long time, and it was only on a “rare occasion” that he felt the hairs rise on his arm because of “evil” in the courtroom.
This is quite revealing: just because you’ve been charged with a crime, doesn’t mean you’re evil. Smith didn’t encounter “evil” much in his career. The majority of people charged with crimes are just like you and me.