SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – A Greene County judge sentenced a man to five years probation on Tuesday after viral surveillance video caught him assaulting his ex-girlfriend.
The assault happened in July of 2022 according to court documents. A probable cause statement said the victim was going to see a friend at the Vue apartment complex in Springfield when she saw Rostell King.
“There’s no reason or justification behind what he did, but it was just a matter of the things going through his head of things that he had heard on the street, essentially,” King’s attorney Adam Woody said. “It was just a momentary just flash of anger lasted 5 seconds and changed a lot of people’s lives.”
The surveillance video showed King punching and kicking the victim. The PC statement said the victim had swelling, cuts, blood, and a broken tooth from the assault. She also had to get 12 stitches.
“The victim in this case has permanent scars,” Prosecuting Attorney Dan Patterson said. “She suffered from a merciless, unprovoked, brutal attack. I don’t know how to explain how someone gets probation for that offense.”
King was charged with first-degree domestic assault, something Patterson said warrants prison time.
“First-degree assault is a dangerous felony and the legislature, which sets the public policy, the state tells us that if someone is committed to the Department of Corrections, it’s so serious that they should serve 85% of their sentence,” Patterson said. “In this case, the charge the defendant pled guilty to was a class B felony, which carries between five and 15 years in the Department of Corrections.”
King pleaded guilty which left the sentencing in the judge’s hand.
“The state here obviously did ask the court for prison time,” Woody said. “We asked the court for probation and we provided a lot of information. The court made a well-reasoned, thought-out ruling and he determined that prison wasn’t necessary here. I 100% agree that prison was not a necessary thing.”
Woody said the disturbing video shows a lack of judgment from King. He also said King attended several programs to prove the assault was a one-time incident.
“I sent in all of those all sorts of information programs that my client had done since the incident date,” Woody said. “Anger management, substance abuse counseling, domestic violence counseling, personal counseling, medical reports. He has worked extremely hard since the incident date to better himself to ensure that his anger does not get the best of him in the future.”
But prosecutors have a different view on the video.
“The victim who gave a victim impact statement talked like many victims,” Patterson said. “This brutal attack that was captured on camera was not the first incident of abuse she had suffered at his hands. There had been a pattern of abuse prior to this, but as in many cases had not been reported. He brutally and mercilessly attacked this victim and then wrote rap songs glamorizing the attack. He may not have a prior record, but this offense enough called for prison time.”
The defense is thankful the judge gave King a second chance at the sentencing.
“He’s a young man with a clean criminal record, a college degree, a bright future, and the court determined to not destroy all of that by sending him to prison for eight and a half years,” Woody said. “He worked extremely hard to better himself to show that this was a one-time terrible lapse in judgment. He explained. Even in sentencing, his heart goes out to the victim. He doesn’t know what got into him. He was extremely apologetic. He solely accepted responsibility is not a recidivism rate in the future.”
If King does not follow his probation rules, he could face ten years in the Department of Corrections.