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Former Hill County attorney arrested on suspicion of shooting husband


Last updated 2/5/2019 at 11:17am

Jessica Cole-Hodgkinson

A former Hill County attorney who was found guilty of contempt after resigning her position in July now faces felony charges in Texas after she was accused of shooting her estranged husband.

Records from the Taylor County Jail in Abilene, Texas, show Jessica Cole-Hodgkinson was released Monday on $50,000 bail after she was arrested Sunday on suspicion of first degree assault with a weapon, a felony.

Abilene Police Department Public Information Coordinator Rick Tomlin said Monday that Cole-Hodgkinson was arrested Sunday at 6:09 a.m. in Abilene.

Court documents list Cole-Hodgkinson's permanent residence as Eugene, Oregon.

Cole-Hodgkinson was appointed as Hill County attorney in November 2016. Complaints soon started coming in that she was failing

in her duties, including being called in front of Hill County Justice of the Peace Audrey Barger to explain why she failed to appear for a trial.

By June of last year, Cole-Hodgkinson had been called back to court again, by state District Judge Dan Boucher to explain why she had failed to file sentencing documents on multiple cases and again by Barger to explain why she had not ensured attorneys with no conflict of interest would appear in cases in Barger's court.

In July, Cole-Hodgkinson resigned. Boucher vacated his hearing after she filed the required paperwork, but she appeared in Barger's court in August to answer her questions.

Barger found Cole-Hodgkinson guilty of three counts of criminal contempt, sentenced her to house arrest, fined her $1,500 and barred her from practicing in Barger's court for one year.

Tomlin said his department did not know as of Monday when Cole-Hodkginson arrived in Abilene. The police department had no prior contact with her, he said.

The incident report said her husband, Carl James Hodgkinson, 47, who is also facing charges in Texas and from the federal government, returned home early Sunday morning to find that Cole-Hodgkinson had locked him out of his house. After he regained entry, he found her in a bathroom armed with a handgun, the report said.

Cole-Hodgkinson then shot him multiple times in the abdomen and his right shoulder, the report says. He was transported by ambulance to a local hospital for treatment for his injuries.

Cole-Hodgkinson was found next door at a neighbor's and was taken into custody by the Abilene Police Department.

The arrest report says that Cole-Hodgkinson refused to speak and did not provide any information about the incident. It adds that the investigation is still ongoing.

Carl James Hodgkinson is facing a felony charge for possession of child pornography and has a pending federal charge for possession of a homemade baffling device, also known as a silencer.


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