Rabon guilty on all counts except 2 in murder trial (Jan. 31, 2012)
Travis Santell Rabon was sentenced to life without parole by Rockdale County Superior Court Judge David Irwin on Thursday after a jury found Rabon guilty of murder for one woman and rape, aggravated assault, and aggravated sodomy against another woman in 2008.
Rabon received a mandatory sentence of life for felony and malice murder, life without parole for rape, concurrent to life sentence, as well as sentences of life and 20 years for other charges of aggravated assault and battery, concurrent with the first sentences.
Irwin said, after listening to the trial, “I do not believe Mr. Rabon suffers from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, nor do I believe he has a cognitive IQ of the amount (the psychologist) stated.”
Irwin said he was struck by Rabon's narcissism and lack of empathy. “I don’t know I ever heard him ask about either one of the children” during his interviews, said Irwin.
He was especially struck when Rabon reportedly passed by the dying body of the strangled victim as he was throwing marijuana out of the apartment and did not try to help her.
“I thought about this over and over. What could have somebody have done? He could have done. He did not do. Therefore I will not do," Irwin said.
“Mr. Rabon, you are fortunate you still have a family that loves you. They can still communicate with you. The people who are here cannot,” he said, referring to the victim’s family. “May God have mercy on your soul.”
The murdered victim's father, Keith Avant, read a statement of how his daughter's death affected him and his family.
"The death of my daughter was the most tragic event of my life," he said. “I still think about the dreadful phone call on Dec. 29, 2008.” After sitting with his daughter's body while she was on life support for three days, Avant, who worked as a respiratory therapist, said he was not able to treat patients on life support afterwards.
She was killed just days after her 21st birthday, he said, and as a recent college graduate had not yet been able to pick up her diploma.
“I feel Travis Rabon not only intended to kill my daughter, he intended to kill the other victim as well,” Avant said.
Defense attorney Michael Waldrop said it seemed "inconsistent" to give life without parole for rape, was possible because the way the laws were written, but not life without parole for murder.