Halifax County woman sentenced for fatal DUI crash

Melissa Rhodes will spend 33 years behind bars


HALIFAX COUNTY – A Halifax County woman, convicted of driving drunk and killing her fiance's son, will spend more than three decades behind bars.

Melissa Rhodes was sentenced to 73 years in prison, but had 40 years suspended.

Her license has been suspended indefinitely and she will also be on probation for 10 years after she gets out.

In April, she was found guilty of six charges, including reckless DUI manslaughter and homicide.

Last August, she crashed into a telephone pole on Highway 360 in Halifax County with her fiance's 9-year-old son, Julian Suttle, in the back seat.

He was airlifted to Duke University Hospital and died a few days later.

Friday, a member of Suttle's family, who didn't want to be identified, reached out to WSLS.

The family member wanted wanted to thank the Halifax County commonwealth attorney for doing "an outstanding job" and said the commonwealth attorney "fought very hard to seek justice for (Julian.)"

The family member also thanked all of the first responders involved and the doctors at Duke University Hospital who tried to save Julian.