Phoenix Man Pleads Guilty to Federal Offenses Relating to the Murder of a Taxi Cab Driver

PHOENIX (LAWFUEL) – Jimmy Presley Hodge, 28, of Phoenix, pleaded guilty on Friday, December 12, 2008, to Interference With Commerce by Threats and Violence (Hobbs Act) and Use of a Firearm in Connection with a Crime of Violence Causing Death before U.S. District Judge G. Murray Snow in Phoenix. Sentencing is set before Judge Snow on Monday, March 16, 2009, at 10:00 a.m.

In his guilty plea, Hodge admitted that on December 1, 2004, he planned and attempted to rob a taxi cab driver in the area of North 39th Street and East Clarendon Avenue in Phoenix. During the attempted robbery, Hodge shot and killed the cab driver. At that time, Barker was operating a taxi cab engaged in the business of transporting passengers for fares, who were moving in, and a part of, interstate and foreign commerce.

A conviction for the Hobbs Act carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison, a $250,000 fine, or both. A conviction for Use of a Firearm in Connection with a Crime of Violence Causing Death carries a minimum mandatory consecutive term of 10 years in prison, and up to life in prison or death, a $250,000 fine, or both. In determining any sentence other than death, Judge Snow will consult the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines, which provide appropriate sentencing ranges. The judge, however, is not bound by the Sentencing Guidelines in determining a sentence. With respect to the death penalty, the U.S. Department of Justice previously directed the U.S. Attorney’s Office not to seek the death penalty in this case.

The investigation preceding the indictment was conducted by the Phoenix Police Department and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. The prosecution is being handled by Assistant U.S. Attorney Frederick A. Battista.


RELEASE NUMBER: 2008-332(Hodge)

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