Tallahassee man will spend life in prison for 2018 kidnapping and murder

Christopher Rumph convicted in the death of Kelton Washington
Christopher Rumph is charged in the death of Kelton Washington.
Christopher Rumph is charged in the death of Kelton Washington.(WCTV)
Published: Jan. 17, 2023 at 4:27 PM EST|Updated: Jan. 20, 2023 at 4:14 PM EST
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UPDATE at January 20, 4:15 pm - Christopher Rumph was found guilty as charged of kidnapping and murder in the 2018 death of Kelton Washington.

A jury deliberated for more than two hours Friday before reaching its verdict, prosecutors say.

Rumph was promptly sentenced to life in prison.

His girlfriend and co-defendant Calandra Cooper testified against him at trial, prosecutors say. She is scheduled to appear in court again in February.

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) - A Tallahassee man accused of a December 2018 kidnapping and murder is now on trial.

Christopher Rumph is accused of kidnapping 27-year-old Kelton Washington from a Tallahassee motel, driving him to Gadsden County, and shooting him on the side of the road.

Washington’s family had reported the Havana man missing just hours before his body was found near the intersection of Ben Bostic and Strickland Roads.

Rumph and his girlfriend, Calandra Cooper were arrested later the same day.

Attorneys selected a jury in Rumph’s trial Tuesday morning and were expected to make their opening statements in the afternoon.

Court records say there is hotel surveillance video showing Rumph and another man dragging Washington out of the hotel room and a car speeding away moments later.

Court records say that Co-defendant Calandra Cooper is accused of letting Rumph into the hotel room and riding with the men as Washington begged for his life.

Cooper was slated to stand trial this week too, but her case has now been delayed, with a case management hearing set for next month.

Testimony in Christopher Rumph’s trial is expected to begin Wednesday morning and last the rest of the week.