Suspect arrested, charged with murder in Mobile County homicide case

Mobile County

UPDATE (8:00 p.m.) — The Mobile County Sheriff’s Office says investigators used video surveillance to identify Sabronte Rhodes. Rhodes is charged in the murder of Johnny Clark Soekhies.

Soekhies was found dead on Friday on Oyler Road next to a storm drain in a partially developed subdivision. Investigators believe the murder started off as a robbery.

Deputies walked Rhodes from the sheriff’s office to Mobile Metro Jail on Tuesday night and he had quite a bit to say, but would not say where he was on Friday. Rhodes said, “I did not kill nobody and if everybody knows Sabronte LaShawn Rhodes, aka Bronte. No, I ain’t on that type of time.” 

Investigators do say they believe they have enough evidence for a case against Rhodes

Captain Paul Burch said, “He wouldn’t be wearing handcuffs if we didn’t…We feel strongly that robbery was a motive. He clearly has a history of robbery.”

When we questioned Rhodes, he may have said something about that robbery. Rhodes said, “Somebody say something to me about I done stole something. I done did that. I did that, but all that extra s***, man I ain’t killed nobody, nope.” 

Investigators believe there may be more people out there who were also robbed by Rhodes. Burch said, “We do know that Rhodes was using the Grinder App to reach out to people and that’s ultimately what he used to get mister Soekhies in the vehicle with him.” 

The sheriff’s office asks anyone who is a victim of a robbery by Rhodes to come forward. Investigators say you can remain anonymous, they just need to ask a few questions.

UPDATE (6:50 p.m.) — The Mobile County Sheriff’s Office says Sabronte Rhodes, arrested in Friday’s homicide on Oyler Road, is charged with murder of Johnny Clark Soekhies.

MOBILE COUNTY, Ala. (WKRG) — Deputies on Tuesday arrested a suspect in Friday’s homicide on Oyler Road.

Sabronte Rhodes

Sabronte Rhodes was arrested on active felony warrants at a strip mall on Old Pascagoula Road near Carol Plantation Road in the Tillman’s Corner area. Deputies believe he is also responsible for Friday’s murder.

A white SUV was towed from the scene around 1:30 p.m.

The warrants were unrelated to the homicide. However, the sheriff’s office says Rhodes is suspected in the murder of Johnny Clark Soekhies, who was found dead Friday on Oyler Road near Jeff Hamilton Road. Soekhies’ body was found next to a storm drain in an abandoned, partially developed subdivision.

Deputies don’t know if that’s where he was killed, because the rain on Friday hindered their investigation.

Soekhies lived less than five miles from where his body was discovered. He was last seen Thursday night, about 12 hours before he was found dead. Deputies think he was killed within 30 minutes of when he left home. “Any murder is senseless, but he was brutally killed,” said Captain Paul Burch, with the Mobile County Sheriff’s Office.

An autopsy revealed Soekhies had been shot in the head.

A white SUV was towed from the scene in Tillman’s Corner where a suspect in a Mobile County homicide case was taken into custody.

Deputies believe the murder may have happened during a robbery. They don’t know if the two knew each other.

“There are some things that are very interesting about how they may have been in contact, unfortunately, that’s going to come through the forensic investigation which takes time,” said Captain Burch.

Rhodes has a violent criminal history going back two decades in Mobile County. A gun has not been recovered yet.

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