Appeals Court upholds lengthy sentences in local cases

In opinions handed down recently, the Seventh Court of Appeals based in Amarillo affirmed judgments against two Chillicothe men who were sentenced to lengthy prison sentences by Hardeman County juries in recent child sex abuse cases.
In an opinion issued on March 22, 2019, the Amarillo appellate court affirmed the conviction of Jimmie Kyle Anderson, a former employee of the Chillicothe school district.
Anderson was convicted by a jury in November of 2017 of one count of aggravated sexual assault of a child and three counts of indecency with a child. All of the charges were related to foster children that were in the care of Mr. Anderson.
At trial, evidence was introduced demonstrating that the children, age 5, 5, and 3, at the time of the abuse, told Anderson’s wife that he had been sexually abusing them when she was not at home. She immediately informed law enforcement and later made a pretext phone call to Anderson to confront him about the abuse.
During the call, Anderson admitted to sexually abusing the children. At trial, District Attorney Staley Heatly presented the testimony of three other girls who Anderson had sexually abused when they were in his care in 2014. At that time, the girls were 10, 9, and 7 years old.
A Hardeman County jury sentenced Anderson to 99 years for aggravated sexual assault and to 15 years for each of the three counts of indecency with a child.
District Judge Dan Mike Bird stacked all of the sentences after a request from Heatly bringing the total sentence to 144 years.
Anderson appealed his conviction alleging that the stacked sentences that he received were “cruel and unusual punishment” pursuant to the 8th Amendment of the Constitution. The Amarillo appellate court ruled against Anderson noting that he had not properly preserved the issue for appeal.
In an opinion issued on March 20, 2019, the Seventh Court also upheld the conviction of Brian Douglas Rambo, a former Chillicothe City Councilman and employee of the Chillicothe Hospital at the time of his arrest. On May 18, 2018, Rambo was sentenced to 99 years in prison for two counts of aggravated sexual assault of a child and 20 years for one count of indecency with a child after a jury convicted him of repeatedly sexually abusing a six year old girl in 2008. District Judge Dan Mike Bird again ordered that the sentences be run consecutively essentially creating a sentence of 218 years in prison. At the trial, five other individuals testified that they had been abused by Rambo when they were children, including three boys and two girls. The earliest incident of sexual abuse was alleged to have happened in 1996 with the most recent occurring in 2014. Rambo appealed his sentence alleging that it was improper for the trial court to permit evidence from the previous victims and that the stacking of the sentences was cruel and unusual punishment. The Amarillo appellate court overruled all of Rambo’s objections and affirmed the judgment of the trial court.
“Both of these men, through their horrific actions, have forfeited their right to be a part of our society,” stated District Attorney Staley Heatly. “They sexually abused innocent children who depended on them for love and protection. No child should ever have to go through what these children experienced.”
According to Heatly, both men will have serve at least half of their sentences before they are eligible for release. For Rambo, that is over 100 years and for Anderson it’s more than 70.

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