A man charged in a 2020 murder in Statesboro has been released on bond after a bedlam by District Attorney Daphne Totten in Bulloch County Superior Court.
41-year-old Frank Davis Jr. was shot and killed on November 9, 2020 in a residence on Dunlap Street in Statesboro. Authorities spent several days searching for a suspect they believed to be armed and dangerous.
Kaeshawn Malik Hodges turned himself in to the Bulloch County Jail on November 13, 2020, at which time he was charged with Murder, Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon/First Offender, and Possession of a Firearm During the Commission of a Felony.
Hodges was on probation for a 2019 felony drug case in which he entered a guilty plea and was sentenced to probation and a handful of other conditions. At the time of his arrest, Hodges had also just completed misdemeanor probation for an Obstruction of an Officer charge that resulted in a Nolo Contendre plea.
A Bulloch County grand jury indicted Hodges in February 2021 on the same charges outlined in the article. In April 2022, the state filed an Amended List of Witnesses fifteen members of law enforcement, a GBI medical examiner, and four citizens as it prepared for trial.
State Not Ready for Trial in August 2022
Hodges remained behind bars awaiting trial until August 10 when he appeared in court for a calendar call. Hodges’ attorney, Kimberly Copeland, announced to the court that the defense was ready to proceed with a jury trial as planned at the end of August..
The state, however, asked the Court for a continuance. Judge Gates Peed asked what specifically was prompting a request for a continuance by the state.
The district attorney’s office reported that they were having an issue with a key witness. When Peed pressed on the matter, prosecutors shared that the witness was deceased. Peed then asked how long the witness had been deceased, to which the state replied, ‘Since November 2021.’ Paperwork filed in open court, however, did not reflect the date of the death of the witnesses and noted that the district attorney’s office only learned of the death the day prior. The witness, however, appeared on the amended witness list filed in April 2022.
“Additional investigation is pending to determine the admissibility of [the deceased individual’s] previous statements as well as any other evidence that may exist surrounding the statements made by [the deceased],” the Motion for Continuance filed by the District Attorney’s Office read.
The reference to admissibility stems from a defendant’s constitutional right to cross-examine any accuser or witness the state provides during the prosecution of a defendant. If the witness is deceased, he cannot be cross examined by the defense.
The state is also awaiting testing results for a firearm at the GBI Crime Lab.
After hearing from the state, Judge Peed asked the defense if they wished to discuss the issue of bond. Peed ordered bond for Hodges immediately in the amount of $50,000, cash or property.
He was ordered to:
- Reside with his mother in Statesboro
- Remain at the home unless going to his place of employment or a meeting with his defense counsel
- Refrain from contacting any witnesses in the case
As of Monday morning, Hodges was no longer in the Bulloch County Jail.