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‘For My Man’ Season 7, Episode 1 Recap: Demar Rhome Convinced a Teen Girl He Met Weeks Earlier to Commit Murder. He Nearly Got Away with It Until He Made This Mistake.

The discovery of 17-year-old Lashonda Flynn’s lifeless body in a Seattle park in November, 2003 launched what would become one of the city’s most infamous murder cases — unearthing a bizarre love triangle that puzzles investigators to this day.

At the center was Demar Rhome, a 22-year-old with a dark history of preying on vulnerable teen girls.

Flynn was a runaway living with 22-year-old Rhome when she was brutally stabbed four times by someone she barely knew, 17-year-old Kialani Brown.

Seattle Man Played Women ‘Like Chess Pieces.’ If He Hadn’t Fired His Lawyers and Represented Himself In Court He Might Have Beaten a Murder Charge
Demar Rhodes was sentenced to 31 years for the 2003 murder of Lashonda Flynn. (Photos: TikTok Demar Rhodes/Getty Images)

Rhome met Brown, a teen mom from Vancouver, Washington, on a telephone party chat line in October 2003 and invited her for a week’s stay in November at the apartment he shared with Flynn in Seattle, as seen on season 7, episode 1 of the true-crime series “For My Man,” which airs Monday nights on TV One.

Rhome used the pseudonym Devante Carlson on the phone party line, describing himself as “Handsome in the face, thick in the ass,” adding that he would offer “sit-down delicate dinners” and “sexual experiences nonstop.”

News reports at the time noted that Rhome specifically sought out women who were not Black.

Three weeks after talking on the party line, Brown, who was reportedly white and originally from Hawaii, boarded a bus and arrived at Flynn and Rhome’s apartment with her two-year-old son in tow, lying to her mom that she planned to stay with a female friend in the city.

Within days of meeting, Brown said Rhome had persuaded her to kill his girlfriend — who he described as his “foster sister” — and within a week, the two had dumped Flynn’s lifeless body in a trash bag at Seattle’s Discovery Park, where her remains would be found the next day.

Shortly after the murder, Rhome allegedly pinned everything on Brown in a phone conversation with her mother, who immediately called 911. Police arrested Brown and Rhome at the apartment he shared with Flynn amid bloody knives and trash bags.

When the bizarre story broke to the press, the crime had the whole city of Seattle talking simply because it defied all logic and left so many puzzling questions. Short of hypnotism, how could someone be manipulated into murder within days?

“From the moment Kialani Brown arrived in Seattle, Demar Rhome began to move [her and Flynn] like chess pieces,” Hugh Barber, King County senior deputy prosecuting attorney, told the court during the Rhome murder trial. He “told Kialani when to kill Lashonda, how to kill Lashonda, and why to kill Lashonda, and then he sat back and watched as his work unfolded.”

The testimony and expert witnesses at his trial painted a disturbing picture: Rhome, who had been in and out of foster homes his whole life, was a violent and deeply troubled hustler involved in petty theft, extortion, and pimping. He preyed on young women like Flynn, whom he met in 2002 when he happened upon the then-16-year-old runway at a bus shelter crying in the rain.

“She told him she’d been kicked out of her grandmother’s home, that she had nowhere to go,” according to one report.

Rhome took her in and soon tightened his grip on the vulnerable high school dropout, allegedly forcing her into prostitution, making her sleep on the floor, and demanding that she walk far behind him in public.  

“Lashonda, she was easily swayed; she got overpowered by strong personalities. She’d do anything to get their attention, to be with them. She’d do anything to stay with that person.” her grandmother, Olla Pinder, told the Seattle Times shortly after her murder, adding that she had run away from home before with another boy.

Flynn often asked her grandmother for money, calling her several times a week. In their last phone call the day before Flynn was killed, Pinder overheard the two screaming at each other.

Little is known of Brown, who ultimately confessed to the stabbing death of Flynn and pled guilty to second-degree murder, which carries a sentence of up to 18 years.

In Washington, juveniles who are at least 16 years old are transferred directly to adult court when they commit serious violent crimes, but her attorney pleaded for leniency, arguing that she was young and a previous victim of domestic abuse, making her vulnerable to Rhome’s manipulation tactics.

Brown had “some run-ins with the law, including an arrest for theft and forgery,” according to the Seattle Times, but there were no violent offenses in her history.

In her testimony, Brown portrayed Rhome as a psychotic puppet master who sexually assaulted her and threatened to kill her and her son shortly after arriving at his apartment. She ended up receiving a lighter sentence of ten years in 2016. Since her early release in December 2012, her whereabouts are unknown.

Rhome, however, had a reasonable shot at getting away with it if he had not insisted on firing his lawyers and acting as his own attorney.

Throughout the trial, he constantly contradicted himself, straight-out lied, and acted erratically. His appointed standby counsel, criminal defense attorney Michael Danko, was poised to step in if Rhome had allowed it. With no fingerprints on the murder weapon, there was room for reasonable doubt.

As Danko pointed out, “How does a man convince a 17-year-old woman to kill a 17-year-old woman when they’ve only been together for six days? It’s counterintuitive … A case could have been made that the state’s evidence didn’t add up.”

In Rhome’s closing remarks, the would-be attorney almost confessed to the murder. “We all bleed the same blood,” he told the court. “We all cry the same tears. We all urinate the same urine. We all poop the same poop. If I really — in the Lord Jesus Christ’s name — win this jury trial,” he said, “I will have no more involvements in homicide.”

He was found guilty of first-degree murder by a jury and given a maximum sentence of 31 years behind bars. Meanwhile, he hasn’t stopped his attempts to lure in women. On his TikTok account he described himself as a “sexy” rapper “looking 2 find love and happiness and romance.” In 2020, he posted on a “pen-pal” site:

Demar Rhome’s TikTok Account 2023


My Profile Text

♬ original sound – Demar Rhome – Demar Rhome

“Demar Rhome, Black/Creole sexy seductive, single with sexy sounding singing skills… new friends wanted! A/A 100%.”

In a letter to the editor of the San Quentin News, he also discussed his plans to move to California upon his release.

Since his sentencing, Rhome did an about-face and filed an appeal in the Washington Superior Court, claiming he was incompetent to stand trial — let alone represent himself.

While court records show that he has had many diagnoses through the years, including narcissistic personality disorder and antisocial personality disorder, the court deemed he was mentally sane and had the capacity to form intent on the night of the murder. The appeal was denied in 2011.

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