A jury of seven women and five men convicted a Rocky Face man Friday of raping and sodomizing a homeless woman a year-and-a-half ago.
Floyd Earnest Youngblood, 46, of 1570 Mount Vernon Road, was charged by the Dalton Police Department in October 2012 with rape, sodomy and making false statements to law officers in connection with crimes they said happened in December 2011. The jury found him guilty on Friday of all three charges after deliberating a little more than two hours.
Youngblood did not testify during the three-day trial. He is scheduled to be sentenced on Tuesday before Judge Cindy Morris. District Attorney Bert Poston said Youngblood faces at least 25 years in prison without the possibility of parole and could be sentenced to life without parole.
Defense attorney Jerry Moncus didn’t immediately return a call seeking comment after the verdict Friday.
Assistant District Attorney Ben Kenemer, who tried the case along with Assistant District Attorney Keely Norman, told jury members during closing arguments on Friday that DNA tests show Youngblood had intercourse with the woman and that a polygraph test indicates he lied when he said he didn’t rape her. Kenemer said some markings on her wrists were consistent with injuries she would have sustained in struggling to get away.
The key issue, Moncus told jury members during closing arguments Friday morning, is whether the woman consented to having sex or if, as prosecutors alleged, Youngblood forced or intimidated her into doing it. Moncus called the markings on the woman’s arms into question, saying one was “less than one inch” and the other “less than 1/25th of an inch, the size of a ball-point pen.” He pointed out that a doctor who testified said there were no other injuries.
“The question is, can you believe what she says?” Moncus said of the woman. “It’s that simple.”
Moncus pointed out to jury members that the victim could not identify her alleged attacker in the courtroom during the trial. Kenemer said that could be attributed to Youngblood changing his appearance since the alleged rape. Among other changes, he had shoulder-length hair and was unshaven when jailers photographed him shortly after his arrest. During the trial, he had short hair and a mustache.
Kenemer said the woman was pregnant at the time she had intercourse with Youngblood, and she was afraid of Youngblood and what might happen to her and her baby if she continued to refuse. Kenemer said a series of testimonies and recorded interviews with police officers including a polygraph showed Youngblood didn’t tell the truth about what happened on multiple occasions.
“Youngblood initially denied even being present at the scene but ultimately confessed during a videotaped interview after being advised of the evidence against him,” Poston said in a press release.
Moncus called into question the accuracy of the polygraph tests, suggesting there is a possibility an innocent person could fail one or that Youngblood might have said something that made him sound guilty only because that’s what he thought the officers wanted to hear.
Poston said the Dalton Police Department should be commended for its work in the case. Det. Ricky Long was the primary investigator and was assisted by detectives Matthew Lock and Greg Bates.
Youngblood has had previous brushes with the law.
“Youngblood had previously been convicted in three other felony cases — two burglaries here in Whitfield County in 1989, and theft of a motor vehicle plus escape in Union County in 1991, evidence of which will be presented to the court at sentencing,” Poston said in a press release. “Youngblood had also previously been accused of rape in 1992 but was acquitted at trial of that offense by a Whitfield County jury in 1993.”