A jury has sentenced a La Marque man to life in prison for the 2018 shooting death of Brandy Rhines, prosecutors confirmed Wednesday.

Byron Eugene Coleman, 41, pleaded guilty to one count of unlawful possession of a firearm and, after less than an hour of deliberation, a Galveston County jury late Wednesday found him guilty of murder, Chief Assistant District Attorney Adam Poole said.

Coleman also was sentenced to 10 years in prison for the firearm conviction, but the sentences will run concurrently, Poole said.

Rhines was found dead in her La Marque home in January 2018 from gunshot wounds.

Officers at the scene said Rhines appeared to have been shot several times, and she was pronounced dead at the scene, police said.

Family members in 2018 told The Daily News that Coleman and Rhines were previously in a dating relationship and that she had been trying to end it.

Coleman was detained at the scene and later charged with possession of a firearm by a felon, records show.

One of Rhines’ relatives told police that Coleman had arrived at her house in the morning with a gash on his face asking for medical attention, according to the affidavit.

The relative said she saw Coleman had a handgun in his pocket and left her house in his vehicle, according to the affidavit.

Coleman will be eligible for parole after serving 30 years of his sentence, Poole said. The murder trial was the first in Galveston County since the coronavirus pandemic began.

Matt deGrood: 409-683-5230;


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(1) comment

Doug Sivyer

Would the sentence have been the same if he was white and had money?

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