Tough Sentence for Fannin County Criminal

7-9-04 - It took a Fannin County jury less than 45 minutes to sentence Ronald Lynn Hodges to 60 years in prison for Unlawful Possession of a Firearm by a Felon.

Hodges, a 43 year old resident of Ladonia had been to prison four times for theft and drug offenses since 1982. In 2003 Fannin County sheriff’s deputies arrested Hodges on a family violence charge and discovered a handgun in his pocket. The case was prosecuted by Fannin County Attorney Myles Porter.

On the evening of June 24, 2003, Fannin County Sheriff’s deputies Terry Edington and Mike Kelley responded to a family violence call in Ladonia. The victim, Lisa Tunson, told the officers that her boyfriend, Ronald Hodges, had hit her in the face and neck during an argument.

The deputies arrested Hodges at his residence. A search of his pockets revealed a loaded double-barrel handgun.

A jury was selected on Tuesday, July 6 and testimony began on July 7. In a very short trial, the jury of six men and six women found Hodges guilty in less than 30 minutes. At the punishment stage of the trial, County Attorney Porter introduced evidence of the defendant’s four prior felony convictions. Drug Task Force agent George Robinson, took the stand and testified that Hodges has been arrested twice for possession of crack cocaine. In his closing argument, Hodges’ attorney, Joe Moss, referred to his client as a mere “chicken thief” and asked the jury to give him a minimum sentence. Porter called the defendant a “four time loser” who refuses to obey the law no matter how many times he is sent to prison. The jury returned a 60 year sentence.