Alabaster shooting suspect’s charges headed to trial

By NEAL WAGNER / Managing Editor

COLUMBIANA – A 54-year-old Alabaster man is preparing to stand trial on robbery and assault charges tied to a 2014 shooting off Simmsville Road, according to Shelby County Circuit Court records.

Rhine

Rhine

On July 7, Circuit Court Judge Dan Reeves signed an order placing charges against Sylvester Rhine on the court’s trial docket “to await an available trial cycle.”

As of July 9, no future trial date had been set.

Rhine is facing felony counts of first-degree robbery and second-degree assault after he was indicted on the charges in February. He pleaded not guilty to the charges on March 24. He has remained in the Shelby County Jail on bonds totaling $150,000 since his Dec. 31, 2014 arrest.

According to the indictments, Rhine allegedly shot a victim during a robbery off Fifth Avenue Southeast shortly after 10 a.m. on Dec. 30, 2014. The indictment alleges Rhine stole U.S. currency from the victim and shot the man, causing serious physical injury.

During the Dec. 30 incident, officers arrived on the scene and discovered a shooting occurred, but were unable to locate the victim or the suspect.

The victim then appeared at the Shelby Baptist Medical Center emergency room about 20 minutes after the shooting suffering a gunshot wound to the hand.

In a recommendation to raise the suspect’s bond amount, the District Attorney’s Office wrote Rhine “has a very lengthy record, including multiple prior convictions for violent crimes, drug offenses, property crimes and has also been previously charged with escape in the first degree.”

“Defendant is a danger to the public at large, and is considered a flight risk,” read the bond recommendation.

According to court records, Rhine pleaded guilty to one count of first-degree assault in 1992 for stabbing a victim and striking them with a vehicle. Rhine also previously was convicted on charges of destruction of property by an inmate, unlawful distribution of a controlled substance, three counts of possession of a controlled substance, second-degree burglary, second-degree receiving stolen property, manufacturing imitation drugs, resisting arrest, public intoxication and one count of second-degree assault.