Local News

Roanoke Rapids man pleads guilty to killing Applebee's manager

Posted June 29, 2012

— A Roanoke Rapids man pleaded guilty Friday to killing the manager of an Applebee's restaurant during a robbery three years ago.

Joshua Lindell Rouse, 25, pleaded guilty to first-degree murder and was sentenced to life in prison without parole, Halifax County District Attorney Melissa Pelfrey said.

Prosecutors had planned to seek the death penalty against Rouse if the case had gone to trial.

A co-worker found Sandy Denise Riedel, 29, dead on June 15, 2009, inside the Applebee's she managed at 210 Premier Blvd. in Roanoke Rapids.

Police said Riedel, who had gone to work early to open the restaurant, had been stabbed and that an undisclosed amount of money had been taken.

Rouse worked at the restaurant at the time of killing, Riedel's sister said after his arrest.

According to state Division of Adult Correction records, Rouse served more than four years after being convicted of attempted armed robbery and assault charges in Halifax County. He was released in May 2008 and was on parole until February 2009.


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  • BE Jun 29, 2012

    miseen, thanks for your comments. I wonder why WRAL allows comments that have nothing to do with a story. Folks should be glad the killer is off the streets. But as lsdhome points out, it did take a while.

  • Alexia.1 Jun 29, 2012

    "Shouldn't be able to plea bargain on murder." --White Cross

    Then again, I could not personally "do the deed". I think a better solution is what England did years ago... find an island somewhere. Send them there.

  • lsdhome Jun 29, 2012

    It shouldn't have taken three years to bring this monster to trial.

  • wral suks bauls Jun 29, 2012

    He looks like a very nice, law abiding, upstanding individual....

  • aspenstreet1717 Jun 29, 2012

    They should have made it go to trial.

  • White Cross Jun 29, 2012

    So the message here is you can murder and if you do get caught just plea bargain and you can dodge the death sentence?
    Shouldn't be able to plea bargain on murder.

  • miseem Jun 29, 2012

    This is who Obamacare was designed for. ABO

    Exactly how does this have anything to do with Obama? Some people seem to be obsessed with him. I'm sure you think that Obama has something to do with the 105 temperature today too.
    This is a story about the murder of an innocent person and the guilty party getting a reprieve on the justice he deserves. Has nothing to do with Obama.

  • Bartmeister Jun 29, 2012

    He cut a deal to save his life. No kudos here for him, just another career criminal.

  • sillywabbitthepatriot Jun 29, 2012

    Enjoy the rest of your life Rouse.

    One has to wonder, people who devalue the lives of others, what must they think of their own?

    What a waste of two lives.

    Condolences to the family of Ms. Riedel.

  • storchheim Jun 29, 2012

    "I get so sick of reading how murderers get the easy way out when they didn't give their victim a choice to do so." 1Grenade

    Amen! And she wasn't even stupid enough to be his "fiance" and have had a couple of babies with him! No one deserves murder but some do volunteer for it, just to have a man.