Havre Daily News - News you can use

By Tim Leeds 

Former Hill County attorney going to trial in Texas on shooting charge


Last updated 8/30/2019 at 11:47am

A former Hill County attorney is going to trial in Abilene, Texas, on a charge accusing her of shooting her estranged husband multiple times at his home there.

The attorney of Jessica Cole-Hodgkinson, who was Hill County attorney from November 2016 to July 2018, told the 104th District Court in Abilene Thursday that Cole-Hodgkinson wants to go to trial on the felony charge of aggravated assault-family violence, court officials said this morning.

The date of her trial has not yet been set.

Cole-Hodgkinson was arrested and booked into jail in Abilene, Texas, Feb. 3, on the shooting charges and was released on $50,000 bond the next day.

Her husband, Carl Hodgkinson, who is facing child pornography charges in Abiliene and is scheduled for sentencing in federal court Sept. 20 after he pleaded guilty May 16 to federal charges of possession of an unregistered firearm, told police Feb. 3 that Cole-Hodgkinson had been in Abilene about a week and he was helping her move from Montana to Oregon, the complaint filed in court said.

He said he returned home early in the morning of Feb. 3 from the home of his girlfriend and found Cole-Hodkginson inside of the shower with handcuffs on.

He said when he found her there, she shot, and he did not know why.

He suffered four gunshot wounds.

Cole-Hodgkinson had left her position in Havre several months earlier after a year-and-a-half tenure as Hill County attorney filled with complaints.

She submitted her resignation effective July 30, 2018, while facing contempt of court hearings in Hill County Justice Court and in state District Court in Havre.

After she submitted required paperwork, the District Court hearing was vacated.

In August 2018, Judge Audrey Barger held a contempt-of-court hearing to explain why Cole-Hodkginson had not ensured an attorney who did not have conflicts of interest could represent the state in three hearings in Barger’s court, leading to dismissal of charges in two of the cases.

Barger ended up finding Cole-Hodgkinson in criminal contempt of court on three counts, fined her $1,500, sentenced her to six days of house arrest and barred her from practicing law in Hill County Justice Court for one year.


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