Stroudsburg, Monroe County – A Monroe County man plead guilty to murder Monday morning in Monroe County. Michael Rhubart will spend between 15 and 30 years in jail for killing his friend Jabar Hughes. Rhubart cried as he listened to tearful testimony from his family and from the victim’s family.
Rhubart shot Hughes in the back of the head in October of 2012. The two met in prison. They became close friends and later housemates. An argument about heroin use and sales came between them. Rhubart murdered Hughes in Chestnuthill Township, Monroe County. He then dug a shallow grave in nearby Carbon County where he buried the body.
The victim’s girlfriend was pregnant at the time so he never got to meet his baby girl. The killer has five children who he won’t see grow up.
Rhubart’s Mother-in-Law Donna Muller cried, "The entire thing is heartbreaking for everybody involved." His sister Samantha Rhubart added, "It's 15 years away from his kids, it's 15 years that they're going to grow up without him."
In court, both sides talked about how drug use lead up to the killing. Muller said, "We need to get on top of the drug usage. We need to get on top of our children."
Rhubart’s family said he struggled with drugs since he was young and had trouble finding work as a felon after a drug conviction. "Of course the bills pile up, you're gonna get thrown out of your house and you have no recourse,” said Muller.
Rhubart said he killed to protect his family because he believed his friend had become dangerous. Prosecutors said there is no evidence the victim was dangerous. Samantha responded, "It's a situation where it doesn't matter right or wrong, left or right, defense or prosecution, nobody wins."