A Monroe County man was found guilty of reckless homicide and second-degree persistent felony offender last week in a 2008 murder case.
Kenneth G. Hodges, 54, of Gamaliel, faces a sentence of 10 years in prison for stabbing to death Randall E. Page, 76, of Tompkinsville.
“We are disappointed in the outcome,” said Clay Hundley Jr., assistant commonwealth’s attorney for Monroe, Cumberland and Clinton counties. “I thought [the charge] was too lenient.”
Reckless homicide was one of the choices Cumberland County jurors were given to consider in the trial, which was in Burkesville due to the granting of a motion for a change of venue. The location of the trial was moved because the victim’s family is well-known in Monroe County, Hundley said.
One of Page’s sons, Mitchell Page, is a former judge-executive for Monroe County and currently serves as a Monroe County magistrate. Another son, Tommy Page, once served as a Monroe County magistrate, he said.
Ken Garrett, who represented Hodges in the trial, said his client is pleased with the verdict.
“Had he been convicted of murder he would have faced 20 to 50 years in prison or life in prison,” Garrett said.
Garrett believes his client was convicted of a lesser charge because of the “over-whelming amount of reasonable doubt” that was explained to the jury.
“Part of his defense was that there was a third party who committed the crime,” Garrett said. “We were anxious to put that proof on, but based on the court’s rulings we were prevented from putting on the evidence that a third party committed the crime.”
A sentence of 10 years was recommended for Hodges. State law requires Hodges to serve 20 percent of the sentence, but because he has been incarcerated for three years and seven months, he is now eligible for parole, Garrett said.
Hodges will appear in Monroe Circuit Court in January for final sentencing. It will be up to the state parole board to decide if he can be released from prison based on the amount of time he has already been incarcerated.
The commonwealth plans to oppose Hodges’ release when he goes before the state parole board, Hundley said.