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First degree murder charged in Essex County

8-3-2011 Virginia:


An alleged domestic dispute has led to the shooting death of a convicted sexual predator and the imprisonment of the suspected gunman.

According to Essex County Sheriff Stanley S. Clarke, On July 25 at approximately 9:40 p.m. his department responded to a call advising of a shooting at 3749 Richmond Highway in the Paul's Crossroads area of the county.

After arriving at the scene, Essex authorities discovered Richard Earl Breedon, 46, dead of a gunshot wound. At that time, the suspect, identified as Justin Hodges, 29, the next door neighbor, had already fled the scene.

According to numerous reports by neighbors and sources close to the investigation, Hodges's ex-wife, whose identity was not disclosed, had recently left her husband and moved into Breedon's home. The Hodges' children reportedly shared time at both domiciles, which were only separated by a single wall.

Hodges allegedly became irate after discovering Breedon, a registered sexual offender who was convicted of forcible sodomy and rape in Jan., 2001, had become verbally abusive.



Essex authorities would neither confirm nor deny the reports, saying that the investigation needed to continue without being tried in the press.

According to Clarke, Hodges turned himself in to the Sheriff's Office on July 27 and was arraigned the following day on charges of first degree murder and use of a firearm in the commission of a felony.

He is currently being held at the Middle Peninsula Regional Security Center with no bond. A mental evaluation has been ordered and a preliminary hearing has been scheduled for Sept. 22. ..Source.. by Northern Neck News



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