Two Sanford men charged in connection with a 2019 murder pleaded to reduced charges last week on the day jury selection in their trials was set to begin.
Jayden Hodges, 22, and Elijah Rose, 23, each offered Alford pleas – an acknowledgement that the state has enough evidence for a conviction – in response to charges that they shot and killed 29-year-old Eric Thompson Jr. and shot and wounded another victim at the WestRidge apartment complex on Pathway Drive in August 2019.
Police at the time didn’t specify the circumstances surrounding the shooting, but each of the suspects had lived less than a quarter mile of the crime scene.
Hodges pled to charges of second degree murder, assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill and assault on a law enforcement officer and was sentenced to between 13 and 16 years in prison. Rose pled to charges of conspiracy to commit second degree murder and conspiracy to commit assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill and was sentenced to between six and eight years in prison.
Both men received credit for more than three and a half years time served since their arrests.
Hodges was represented by attorney Kevin Foushee and Rose was represented by attorney Fred Webb. Prosecutors Mike Beam and Emily Everest were set to prosecute the case.