Convicted shooter back in jail on probation violation

By NEAL WAGNER / Managing Editor

COLUMBIANA – A 56-year-old Alabaster man who pleaded guilty in 2016 to shooting a victim during a 2014 robbery in the city is back in jail after he has allegedly failed to meet the requirements of his probation over the past several months.


The Alabaster Police Department arrested Sylvester Rhine, who lists an address on Seventh Place Southeast in Alabaster, on June 28 after Shelby County Circuit Court Judge Daniel Crowson ordered Rhine’s bond be revoked in early June.

Rhine pleaded guilty to one felony count of second-degree assault during a Feb. 8, 2016, hearing in front of Shelby County Circuit Court Judge Dan Reeves. Through a plea agreement with prosecutors, one count of first-degree robbery against Rhine was dropped.

As a result of his guilty plea, Rhine received a 15-year prison sentence, which was split between two years in the Alabama Penitentiary followed by three years of supervised probation. Rhine had 406 days of jail credit subtracted from his two-year prison sentence for time he has served in the Shelby County Jail since his Dec. 31, 2014, arrest.

Rhine had three previous adult felony convictions when he pleaded guilty to the assault charge in 2016, according to court records.

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

During the Dec. 30, 2014, 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, leading to Rhine’s arrest a day later.

In 2016, the Shelby County 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.”

In early June of this year, the District Attorney’s Office requested Rhine’s probation be revoked after he allegedly failed to report to his probation officer in March, April and May. When a probation officer attempted to locate Rhine at his address of record in late May, Rhine was no longer living at the residence, according to court documents.

“Since being placed on probation, Sylvester Rhine’s progress has been very poor. Rhine fails to report as directed, owes $930 in past-due supervision fees and has failed to make any payments on the $921 he owes in court-ordered monies for this case,” read the District Attorney’s Office request to revoke Rhine’s bond. “Rhine does not appear to have a positive attitude towards his supervision at this time.”

As of July 5, Rhine was being held in the Shelby County Jail on a $500 bond.