Young theft suspect already building long history

Staff Writer

A 21-year-old West Point man arrested in connection with a auto burglary last week could be going back to prison for a string of similar crimes more than four years ago when he was a teenager.

Bond was set Tuesday at $2,000 for Stederrius Terrell Hodges in connection with the new auto burglary charge stemming from the theft of a purse from a woman's car at Community Counseling on High Street last week.

He was arrested Friday after he walked through the same area Friday morning.

During his arraignment Tuesday in Municipal Court, Judge Bennie Jones noted Hodges' history: "For such a young man, you are building up quite a record."

The Department of Corrections is putting a hold on Hodges and may ask to have his parole revoked. He got out of prison in April 2017 after serving almost three years of a 12-year sentence for auto burglary and identity theft.

The judge noted that to his credit, Hodges had been working since his release, including four months at a Verona industry before he was laid off and three months at a fast-food outlet in West Point.

Hodges also faces a simple assault charge stemming from an incident in January with Mariah Lasha Piggee, who sign an affidavit for his arrest. He failed to show up for a February court date. That case is set for trial in Municipal Court on July 31.

Hodges' old charges stemmed from a string of thefts in February and March 2014 when he was 17.

He broke into vehicles belonging to three different people and managed to use the debit card stolen from one car to withdraw more than $2,200 from the victim's account.
He had an accomplice in some of the cases, according to Clay County Circuit Court documents.

He was sentenced to 12 years and ordered to pay half of more than $2,200 in restitution to the victims.

He referred to his responsibilities during his Municipal Court appearance Monday, telling Judge Jones he may have missed his court dates on the simple assault cases because, "I have been working a lot because I have to pay my parole officer and restitution.
Ironically, 29-year-old Rahman Hernandez, Hodges' accomplice in the cases four years ago, also is back in jail.

He was arrested by West Point Police early Sunday morning for disturbing the peace.
He originally pleaded guilty in April 2015 to auto burglary and was given a seven-year suspended sentence with one year in the county jail.

The suspended sentence was revoked in July 2016 after he was convicted of public drunk, family disturbance and petit larceny on different occasions in West Point Municipal Court. He was released from prison on Feb. 12, 2018, according to Circuit Court records.
Although it's a misdemeanor, the new arrest could get Hernandez's sentence revoked again.
In the new case involving Hodges, police released video Wednesday of a suspect in a car break in caught earlier Wednesday on a surveillance camera. He was seen wearing a backpack and walking south on High Street from Community Counseling Service where he’d stolen a purse from a car.
The purse was later recovered at Zuber Park by city workers.
Friday morning, a man matching the description and wearing the same backpack turned back up walking in the area of Wednesday morning’s car burglary.

An employee of Community Counseling called police and stayed on the phone with a 911 dispatcher watching the possible suspect until officers surrounded the area and caught Hodges, according to police Det. Ramirez Ivy.
The backpack provided police with enough evidence to charge Hodges with Wednesday’s burglary, Ivy said.