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Trio Convicted in Violent Covington Robberies

At approximately 8:25 p.m. on March 25, 2012, Covington Police Sergeant Kevin Brady and Officers Joshua Bornhorn and Michael Lusardi responded to the intersection of Kavannaugh Street and James Simpson Way for an assault with injuries.  The officers quickly discovered the assault victim had also been robbed.  A 46 year old man told officers he was taking a walk when a silver vehicle passed him then stopped but he continued walking.  The man said he heard the cars doors slam then the next thing he knew, he was struck in the leg with a baseball bat.  A man with the bat continued to hit the victim in his head and legs as another man and a woman went through his pockets and stole his wallet.  The trio of attackers fled when a neighbor came to the victim’s aid, leaving the victim bleeding from lacerations to the head, suffering a compound fracture of right leg and a fractured left ankle.  The victim was transported to University of Cincinnati Hospital where he underwent surgery to repair the bones in his legs.

Approximately 30 minutes later, the officers responded to a call for another robbery, this time in the 100 block of East 6th Street.  A couple walking home from a friend’s house reported seeing two men and a woman get out of a silver car.  One of the men was armed with a baseball bat and the woman yelled “This is a robbery!”  The female victim was punched in the face and knocked to the ground.  The male victim was struck in the head with the baseball bat.  The victims had their purse and wallet stolen, respectively.  The physical description of the attackers matched the description from the first robbery as well.

Around 3:30 a.m., Covington Police officers were dispatched to the Eastside neighborhood for two men and a woman breaking into cars.  The suspects were gone when officers arrived but a neighborhood resident had written down the license plate number of their silver car.  Officers broadcast an “ATL” (attempt to locate) for a silver vehicle with the license plate over the police radio.  Officer David Gilliland spotted the car minutes later in the 500 block of Garrard Street.  A traffic stop was conducted and officers found Lisa Hodge and Eddie Joe Jenkins in the vehicle.  Both were taken to the police station for questioning and Detective Derek Uhl was called in to investigate.

Uhl first interviewed Lisa Hodge who gave conflicting and ever-changing stories.  Hodge also gave officers the names of several different people she thought might be responsible for the robberies.  After a lengthy interview, Hodge finally admitted to taking part in the robberies.  She identified her complicitors as Jenkins and her brother, Andrew Hodge.  Lisa Hodge said police could find her brother at his girlfriend’s house on Lewis Street.  Lisa Hodge said the three were cruising around Covington “looking for some money” when the men saw an older man walking down the street and decided to rob him.  Lisa Hodge said they happened across the second robbery victims the same way.

Uhl next attempted to interview Jenkins but Jenkins refused to “wake up.”  Jenkins continued to feign sleep and/or unconsciousness until Uhl told him Lisa Hodge had already confessed and Jenkins was going to jail.  Jenkins then suddenly “woke up” and denied any involvement.  Uhl and other officers then responded to Lewis Street where they located and arrested Andrew Hodge.  Uhl attempted to interview Andrew Hodge but the suspect denied understanding the basic rights read to him in the Miranda warnings.  After Andrew Hodge continued to claim ignorance of his rights despite repeated explanations from the detective, it was obvious Hodge was playing games and had no intention of talking.  Uhl ended the interview and told the suspect he was going to jail for two counts of robbery, to which Andrew Hodge responded “I only did one robbery!”

Uhl subsequently searched the home where Andrew Hodge was found and located items of clothing with the victim’s blood splattered on them.  A search of the car revealed an aluminum baseball bat, also with blood on it.  Testing would later reveal the presence of Eddie Joe Jenkins’ DNA on the bat.  The clothing worn by Lisa Hodge and Jenkins were seized when they were booked into the jail.  Lisa Hodge’s clothes also had blood from the victim.  Two days after the robberies, the female victim of the second robbery told Uhl her stolen credit card was used at Wal Mart in Ft. Wright.  Security video from the store shows Lisa Hodge, Andrew Hodge, and Eddie Joe Jenkins together at the check out when the card was used to purchase candy, a computer tablet, and other miscellaneous merchandise.

All three defendants’ cases were called for trial before Kenton Circuit Judge Patricia Summe on March 5, 2013.  The Commonwealth’s evidence was presented by First Asst. Commonwealth’s Attorney Jim Redwine and Asst. Commonwealth’s Attorney Lawrence Hilton.  The prosecutors would call several Covington Police officers and Detective Uhl, each of the victims, chemists from the KY State Police Crime Lab, and Wal Mart security officials over the course of the four day trial.  The jury began deliberations Friday afternoon.  Several hours later, the jury returned verdicts finding each defendant guilty of 1st Degree Robbery, two counts of 2nd Degree Robbery, two counts of 2nd Degree Assault, and two counts of Fraudulent Use of a Credit Card.  Just before midnight, the jury returned from deliberations after a sentencing phase with prison sentences of 17 years for Eddie Joe Jenkins and Andrew Hodge, and 10 years for Lisa Hodge.  Each of the defendants will appear in court again next month for formal, final sentencing.

Source: Kenton County Commonwealth's Attorney Office

Photos: (From top to bottom) Eddie Lee Jenkins, Andrew Hodge, Lisa Hodge/Kenton Co. Detention Center