Pierce County prosecutors on Monday charged a 20-year-old man who was shot in the face after allegedly breaking into a Tacoma home six months ago with residential burglary.
Christopher Rhodes pleaded not guilty to the charge during his arraignment. Authorities issued a warrant for him Dec. 26 after he was released from the hospital.
Rhodes had been out of prison less than six months before he allegedly tried to burglarize a home at South 14th and Madison streets June 19. The homeowner who shot Rhodes was not charged because prosecutors said he was defending his home.
The defendant was caught in the act and lawfully shot, Prosecutor Mark Lindquist said. Now, hes going to be held accountable for the burglary. This case is another reminder that breaking into peoples homes can land you in the hospital or prison, if you arent killed.
Charging papers give this account:
A man home alone at the house June 19 heard knocking on the back door but ignored it because he wasnt expecting company. Moments later, the man heard someone prying open a window. He grabbed a shotgun and called 911.
After watching the burglar smash a bay window and climb halfway into the home, the homeowner fired a single shot, hitting the man in the face.
The wounded man, bleeding from the face and arms, ran to a nearby home and asked two men sitting in a garage and watching television to hide him. He then collapsed at the side of their home, where police found him.
The man, later identified as Rhodes, was taken to a hospital, where he was treated for the gunshot wound.
Police found on Rhodes a cellphone with an application that allowed him to monitor police radio broadcasts.
In the case that landed Rhodes in prison, he pleaded guilty to two counts of second-degree burglary and one count of second-degree trafficking stolen property and was sentenced to 366 days in prison.
Monday the court set bail for Rhodes at $100,000.
Stacia Glenn: 253-597-8653