Bond set at half a million for in double murder

Mar. 22, 2013 @ 04:22 PM

A judge set bond at $500,000 in the Edward Demario Hawkins double-murder case Thursday in Vance County District Court.

According to court documents, prosecutors on word from District Attorney Sam Currin are not seeking the death penalty against the 26-year-old Hawkins. He’s charged in the Feb. 16 shooting deaths of Kenya Odessa Hodges, 34, and Jerome Kearney, 33, at the Scottish Inns motel.

Hawkins remains charged with two counts of first-degree murder.

In a motion document filed earlier this month that formed the main arguments for setting bond, Hawkins’ defense attorney Steven B. DeCillis stated that witness statements to investigators do not support the murder charges against Hawkins.

“That would suggest the only appropriate charge relating to the death of Mr. Kearney is manslaughter,” DeCillis stated in written arguments for bond, and “may completely exonerate the defendant of any culpability in the death of Ms. Hodges.”

DeCillis said investigators did not view Hawkins as a danger to others or a flight risk. He sought a bond of $100,000, according to the motion document filed March 8.

According to DeCillis, investigators let Hawkins go several times as interviews continued, then when family members learned about the arrest warrants, Hawkins peacefully surrendered to police on Feb. 26.

According to DeCillis, in a Feb. 22 interview an SBI agent suggested that if Hawkins “made a statement to law enforcement that was consistent with what he already knew from his investigation (Hawkins) could be charged with manslaughter instead of murder.”

Judge Amanda Stevenson continued the case to a District Court hearing scheduled for April 4, but prosecutors have in prior comments stated there is likely to be grand jury indictments in the case next week.

The grand jury convenes on Monday.

Court documents did not include paperwork on any attempt to post bond for release.

Hodges and Kearney were pronounced dead at the scene Feb. 16. Police said the shooting happened in a breezeway area at the Scottish Inns near Room 171.

 

Contact the writer at mfisher@hendersondispatch.com.