Darlene Farah watched the last minutes of her daughter’s life for the first time Monday night.


The State Attorney’s Office released videos, interviews, police reports and photos in the first-degree murder trial of James Xavier Rhodes about noon Monday.

Rhodes is accused of walking into the North Main Street Metro PCS July 20, robbing and shooting 20-year-old Shelby Farah in the head, chest, wrist and thigh. She died at the scene.

SLIDESHOW 1: See evidence released in Metro PCS clerk killing

The Metro PCS video ends just before a man dressed in black with a blue bandana over his face enters the store.


Darlene Farah watched her 20-year-old daughter toss her hair. She watched her daughter fumble with a phone case. She watched customers come and go, and a man police have identified as the shooter, walk back and forth in front of the store.

SLIDESHOW 2: Police release additional surveillance images in case of slain Jacksonville cellphone clerk Shelby Farah

“She shouldn’t have been there by herself,” Darlene Farah said.

Farah asked to view the material and stopped by the Times-Union Monday night.

A police photo shows a bag of chips and a sub that hadn’t been unwrapped beside an open and mostly empty cash register. Other photos show bullet fragments and money on the ground. Photos of Shelby Farah’s broken charm bracelet nearly made her brother Caleb, who also watched the video, cry.

Other photos show Rhodes in a liquor store with his fiancee buying cigarettes and Ciroq vodka hours after the robbery. His fiancee, Crystal Lewis, told investigators that he also bought marijuana that night.

John Middleton, Rhodes' grandfather, identified him in the photo police released to the media. He bought the silver shoes Rhodes was wearing in the video after Rhodes was released from prison in April.

Parts of Middleton’s conversation with investigators are blacked out, but the parts that aren’t blacked out allude to an altercation where Middleton tells police he is now scared of his grandson. He told them if he had a gun he would have shot Rhodes.

Rhodes was adopted by his cousin Tonya Rhodes about five years ago.

She told investigators she saw Rhodes with a handgun two weeks before the shooting, and also identified him as the person in the surveillance video. She told investigators his nickname is “Killer.”

Darlene Farah doesn’t think it’s right that reporters had access to the material before she did. She’s been asking for it for months, she said.

Farah also watched the police interrogation of James Rhodes.

“Now I’m sitting here watching a monster acting like nothing is going on,” she said. “Asking for a cigarette and drinking a Sprite.”

Farah said it’s like she’s reliving the day her daughter died again. In ways, she’s relived July 20 every day for months. She keeps a gold-framed picture of her daughter with her constantly, even putting it in the passenger seat when no one else is in the car. She sometimes talks to her daughter like she’s still there.


Times-Union reporter Dan Scanlan contributed to this article.

Derek Gilliam: (904) 359-4619

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