From Enterprise Staff
Two different juries handed down large sentences for Michael Bee Hodge who on May 11 was on a stolen motorcycle and failed to pull over, leading police on a chase through Livingston. When Hodge was cornered, he pulled a gun on an officer, compelling that officer to use deadly force. On Oct. 12, a jury convicted Hodge for evading arrest or detention and sentenced him to 75 years due to his habitual status.
He was tried again for aggravated assault on a public servant and possession of a controlled substance, again as a habitual offender. On Nov. 2, this jury sentenced Hodge to life in prison on the aggravated assault on a public servant charge, as well as the maximum sentence of 20 years on the possession of a controlled substance case.
“My office and I want to publicly thank both juries for ensuring that justice was done and sending a strong message to both Michael Hodge and anyone else who considers pulling a weapon on a peace officer. Such behavior will not be tolerated by the citizens of Polk County,” Polk County District Attorney Shelly Sitton said.
Hodge was represented by Chad Etheridge.
In other recent court activity, Samantha Stewart pleaded guilty to murder on Nov. 6 and was sentenced to 45 years for the death of her husband, Jeffery Stewart. Stewart called police to her residence on July 26, 2022, indicating an intruder shot her husband. According to testimony, the responding officers had doubts, indicating that her story did not corroborate the evidence at the scene. She eventually confessed to shooting her husband because she was having an online affair.
With the agreement of the family, the district attorney’s office offered a plea bargain of 45 years in prison with no right to appeal. Stewart was devoid of emotion as a member of the Stewart family gave a victim impact statement.
“My office and I appreciate all those appearing for jury duty. Without you, these cases could not have been resolved,” Sitton said.
Stewart was represented by Keaton Kirkwood.