Rumph seeks protective status

Published 12:00 am Sunday, December 23, 2001

Staff Report

The 18-year-old charged with the death of a Troy State University co-ed has asked to be granted youthful offender status.

In September, a Pike County Grand Jury indicted Jonathan Antwan Rumph, 18, of Clayton of murder in the death of TSU freshman Brandi Hobson. A special session of the Grand Jury was called to hear evidence in the death investigation of the 17-year-old Clio co-ed whose body was discovered on Sept. 3.

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Hobson’s body was found just after midnight Sept. 3 by her parents in Room 111 of the all-female Clements Hall. She was pronounced dead at the scene by Pike County Coroner Jerry Williams.

The preliminary investigation failed to show the exact cause and manner of death and, thus, led to an extensive investigation by the Alabama Department of Forensic Sciences, Bruce L. Devane, chief investigator for the District Attorney’s Office of the 12th Judicial Circuit, said in a released statement. The official cause of death was listed as death by manual strangulation with blunt force injury and the manner of death as homicide.

The indictment charged Rumph with using his hands and/or arms and causing Hobson’s death.

However, if Pike County Circuit Judge Robert Barr agrees to Rumph’s request, his records will be sealed and the maximum punishment would be three years of incarceration.

Although youthful offender status can be granted to anyone under the age of 21, Rumph can not be denied based on the sole reason of the murder charge. The teen’s prior history and background must be considered by the judge.

The youthful offender hearing has been set for early next year.