Authorities arrest Lufkin man on capital murder warrant

Rakeem Rhodes (Source: Angelina County Jail)
Rakeem Rhodes (Source: Angelina County Jail)

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - A Lufkin man is in the Angelina County Jail on a capital murder warrant in connection to the June 12 shooting death of Albert Hodge, 60, after being extradited from Nacogdoches County Monday.

Rakeem Levon Rhodes, 20, of Lufkin, is being on a first-degree offense of capital murder. No bail has been set at this time.

Monday morning, the Lufkin Police Department remained tight-lipped about the offense. According to Nacogdoches County Jail records, the warrant came from the Lufkin Police Department, and he will be sent to the Angelina County Jail on Monday.

Nacogdoches County Sheriff Jason Bridges said Rhodes was located in an apartment at Oakhill Plaza Drive around 8 a.m. Monday. Deputies with his office and U.S. Marshals surrounded the building, and he was located in an apartment.

Police spokesman J.B. Smith said he could not comment on a case involving a juvenile suspect, which is what he said about the case in a previous statement.

Smith cited the Texas Family Code, which states that information about a case involving a juvenile suspect is not allowed to be released, even if other adults are involved in the crime.

East Texas News obtained a copy of the arrest warrant Monday afternoon. According to the affidavit, two LPD officers responded to a 911 call about shots fired at a residence in the 700 block of Weaver Street late in the evening of June 12.

When the LPD officers arrived on the scene, they found the home's front door standing open. One of the officers found Hodge lying on the floor with several obvious wounds to his face, chest, and arms.

"Hodge was gasping for air and appeared incoherent," the affidavit stated.

The officer also spotted a woman standing in the kitchen directly behind the living room. After the officers cleared the residence to make sure no one else was in the home, Hodge was transported by ambulance to Lufkin's Memorial Hospital.

The female witness told the officers that she and Hodge had been at the residence on Weaver Street when they heard a knock on the door. Hodge told whoever was knocking to go away, according to the affidavit.

At that point, Hodge picked up a "metal pipe" and opened the door, intent on confronting the person outside. The witness said she saw a "tall, skinny" black man wearing black pants and a black sweat shirt and that the man, who was later identified as Rhodes, asked Hodge, "Where is the money?"

The woman told police she saw a red dot appear on Hodge's chest and then heard a single shot. Terrified, the female witness ran into the kitchen and hid. While the woman was hiding, she heard the sounds of a struggle and heard several more shots fired.

According to the affidavit, the woman told police that she "heard noises that led her to believe that Hodge had fallen to the floor after being shot and that his pockets were being emptied." The witness also said that she heard the sound of a car radio from outside and said that she believed someone was trying to start the car with keys taken from Hodge's pocket.

Looking from her hiding spot, the woman saw Hodge sitting propped against the couch with his pockets turned out, the affidavit stated. She told police that it looked as though Hodge had been shot multiple times. The witness told the police officers that she saw a black male wearing black pants and a black hoodie re-enter the residence. She said the man's face was covered by a red bandana.

"The black male stood over Hodge momentarily and said, 'Next time you will listen,'" the affidavit stated. Then the black male later identified as Rhodes left the home, and short time later, the woman heard the LPD officers enter the residence.

While the two LPD officers were inside the residence on Weaver Street, another officer was approached by a second female witness, who told him the she heard one gunshot and then saw a short, light-skinned black male, who was later identified as the juvenile suspect, run from Hodge's house.

A male witness stated that he had been sitting in his vehicle when he heard the gunshots. He told LPD officers that he saw two black males exit a trail just north of his residence and head to Hodge's house.

Yet another man told Lufkin Police officers that he saw "a tall, skinny black male" standing on the porch of Hodge's residence, and that another shorter male was standing nearby. The man argued with Hodge and demanded money before shooting him and entering the residence, the affidavit stated.

"[The witness] advised that Hodge had what appeared to be a metal pipe and was striking the tall black man with it," the affidavit stated. [He] advised that the tall black male shot Hodge several more times, and then entered the residence."

According to the affidavit, the second male witness said he saw Rhodes rummage through Hodge's pockets and then try to start Hodge's vehicle.

The witness told police that he went to check on Hodge and accidentally made a noise at the front porch. At that point, the tall black man chased him through the yard and fired one shot at him.

Hodge died at the hospital at 4:30 a.m. on June 13. Pct. 1 Justice of the Peace Billy Ball ordered an autopsy to be performed on Hodge's body.

Later that morning, three LPD detectives and two crime scene techs went to Hodge's house. A spent .380-caliber shell casing was found near the steps to the front porch, and a metal pipe was located near the front door, the affidavit stated. Several more .380-caliber shell casings were found inside the home.

At about 8:45 a.m. on June 13, another witness contacted the Lufkin Police Department and said that she lives at a residence on the next street over from Weaver Street. She said that's he had been on her couch when she heard a knock on the door. She opened it and found a male juvenile acquaintance. He told her that someone was shooting at him and that he needed to come inside to get a change of clothes.

The woman provided the juvenile with the requested change of clothes and allowed him to wait at her residence until his ride arrived, the affidavit stated. She said after the juvenile left, she found a black hoodie on the ground. The witness told police she put it in a bag and tossed the bag into her trash can. LPD officers later went to the residence and recovered the hoodie.

According to the affidavit, LPD officers then went to the juvenile's residence and made contact with him and his father. They agreed to go to the Lufkin Police Department, and the juvenile told authorities that he and a man he knows as "Keem" went to Hodge's residence to buy marijuana.

After "Keem" and the juvenile exited a trail on Cain Street, they went to Hodge's house, and the older suspect told the juvenile to stand in the yard because he looked so young that Hodge might sell to them. The juvenile told officers that "Keem" knocked on the door several times and then an older black man came to the door. He said "Keem" then pulled out a pistol and shot the man, the affidavit stated.

The juvenile told police he ran through a neighboring yard and wound up at an acquaintances house, where he changed clothes and waited for his dad to come pick him up. Later, the juvenile described "Keem" to the LPD detectives and confirmed that a book-in photo of Rhodes was the person he had been referring to as "Keem."

Following the interview, the juvenile took LPD detectives to a residence on Cain Street and gave them the tan shorts and gray shirt he had worn on the night of June 13.

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