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Former EMT Gets Prison Term for Prank

March 15, 2006

LEBANON, Va. (AP) _ A former emergency medical technician who jolted a co-worker with cardiac defibrillator paddles as a prank and ended up killing her was sentenced to five years in prison.

Joshua Phillip Martin, 25, cried and apologized to Courtney Hilton Rhoton’s family Tuesday before he was sentenced. He pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter in January.

Russell County Circuit Judge Mike Moore suspended four years of the sentence, leaving Martin, who had no criminal record, with just under one year still to serve.

``I hope when you get out you get on with your life,″ Moore said. ``You have the ability to help people, and I hope you do. Courtney deserved that.″

Rhoton, 23, died in June, three days after the jolt from the defibrillator, used to restart patients’ hearts with an electric current.

Her half-sister, Chanda Lawson, told the judge Martin deserved a life sentence. ``I hope when he lays down at night he remembers those two kids don’t have a mommy anymore because of the foolish thing he done,″ she said.

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