Angelina Co. judge chooses not to reduce capital murder suspect's bail

Angelina Co. judge chooses not to reduce capital murder suspect's bail

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - An Angelina County judge refused to reduce the bond amount for the Lufkin man who was charged with capital murder in connection to the June 12, 2013 shooting death of Albert Hodge, 60 at a hearing Friday morning.

Rakeem Levon Rhodes, 23, appeared in Judge Bob Inselmann's 217th Judicial District Court for a bond reduction hearing. John Tunnell, his defense attorney, said that Inselmann chose not to reduce Rhodes' bond amount, which is currently set at $500,000.

Tunnell said he hopes to hold Rhodes' jury trial sometime in September.

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

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.

Several other witnesses told the officers similar accounts of what happened.

Hodge died at the hospital at 4:30 a.m. on June 13, 2013. 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.

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