LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - Because the suspect in the June 12 death of Albert Hodge is a juvenile, the Lufkin Police Department will not be releasing any further information on its ongoing investigation into the incident.
"Lufkin Police Department detectives have not concluded the investigation into the June 12, 2013 death of Albert Hodge, but the case does involve a juvenile suspect," Detective J.B. Smith, a spokesman for the Lufkin Police Department, said. "Due to the involvement of a juvenile suspect, further updates concerning the investigation must be withheld."
Citing Section 58.007 of the Texas Family Code, Smith said that courts and the Office of the Attorney General have ruled that, "unless a specific exception applies, a law enforcement agency cannot release to the media or public any information regarding a call/incident/investigation that involves suspect."
"The confidentiality laws regarding juvenile suspects and offenders contradict those concerning the availability to the public of information regarding an adult criminal case," Smith said. "Although limited information about a juvenile offender may be released if the juvenile offender is wanted on a directive to apprehend in certain types of cases, there is no exception for law enforcement to share any juvenile information with the media without a court order."
Smith said it isn't enough for a law enforcement agency to simply leave out a juvenile suspect's name and personal identifiers. The LPD spokesman then cited a Texas Attorney General's opinion from 2011, which says [Section 58.007] applies to entire law enforcement records and files; a law enforcement entity is prohibited from releasing even basic information."
According to a police report, Lufkin Police officers responded to a report of gunshots in the 700 block of Weaver Avenue at 11:24 p.m. The officers found a man, later identified as Hodge, on the floor of the house. Hodge, 60, had multiple injuries, possibly caused by gunshots, according to the report and was taken to a Lufkin hospital.
A witness reported to officers that two young black men shot Hodge and ran from the scene.
Hodge died at the hospital. An autopsy will be performed to determine a cause of death.