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Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives

For Immediate Release

February 17, 2010

United States Attorney

Contact: Wyn Hornbuckle

Public Affairs

Telephone: (602) 514-7573

Cell: (602) 740-2422

Hodge Sentenced to Over 22 Years For Charges Relating to the Murder of Phoenix Taxi Cab Driver

PHOENIX – Jimmy Presley Hodge, 28, of Phoenix, was sentenced yesterday by U.S. District Judge G. Murray Snow to 268 months in prison. Hodge pleaded guilty in December 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.

U.S. Attorney Dennis K. Burke stated, “The sentencing of Jimmy Hodge comes at the end of a long path to justice for the murder of James Barker. We thank the ATF Agents and the Phoenix Police homicide investigators who never forgot that. It was only through their long term commitment to run down every possible lead and locate each witness that this case was finally brought to a close. I also hope this brings a sense of closure to his family who suffered a devastating loss.”

The 268 months is to be served consecutively to the remaining term of an unrelated sentence Hodge is currently serving in the State of Arizona for Burglary in the 2nd Degree. The judge also ordered Hodge to perform 250 hours of community service while serving a five year term of supervised release after his sentence.

At the time of 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, James E. Barker. 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. At Hodge’s sentencing, the government noted that prior to the shooting, Barker had been working as a taxicab driver to support his wife and family, and had offered to assist, without charge, a woman walking along a Phoenix street at night. Barker believed the woman had run out of gas and took her to a gas station. Barker was shot by Hodge after he dropped her off.

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.


NUMBER: 2010-022(Hodge)


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