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Logan father pleads guilty to child abuse

November 11th, 2014 Posted in Opinion

By Michael Royer

LOGAN— A Logan man pleaded guilty to one count of child abuse involving physical injury, a class A misdemeanor, Monday in 1st District Court after a plea negotiation was accepted by the judge.

Sammie Lee Hodges, 29, was originally charged with four counts of child abuse.

Cache County prosecuting attorney Jacob Gordon explained what happened exactly five months earlier to cause Hodges’s appearance in court. “On June 10 Logan city officers responded to the home of Hodges with an anonymous tip of possible child abuse,” Gordon said. “The officers were able to make contact with a young boy, who was later proved to be Hodges’s son, chained to his bed frame and padlocked around his ankle so he couldn’t leave when his father went to work.”

The day after the child was found, Judge Thomas Willmore signed the charging document. On June 12, Hodges made his initial appearance and his bail was set at $10,000. His preliminary hearing was July 29. At that time, he faced four separate class A misdemeanor charges of child abuse and pleaded not guilty to each.

On Monday, Hodges’s case was in session with Judge Brandon Maynard. “It is my understanding that the council has reached an agreement on this matter, it that correct?” Maynard asked.

Defense attorney David Perry, who has represented Hodges throughout his case, told the judge, “We have reached an agreement. Mr. Hodges will plead guilty to the first charge of a class A misdemeanor, and the state has agreed to dismiss the other three charges.”

Maynard presented Hodges with the statement of the defendant entering a guilty plea and made sure Hodges understood what the guilty plea meant. After Hodges confirmed he understood, Gordon reviewed the case for the court. Upon hearing the case details, Maynard asked Hodges if what was said was true. “Yes sir,” Hodges said.

“Upon these facts, the plea of guilty is supported in this case,” Maynard said. “I will accept your guilty plea of a class A misdemeanor of child abuse knowing that it has been knowingly and voluntarily entered into, and dismiss counts two, three and four at this time.”

Maynard said he would like to get a pre-sentence report, and the case will be referred to Utah’s Adult Probation & Parole.

Sentencing is scheduled for Dec. 15 at 9 a.m. pending the probation and parole system has time to review the case and get a report finished by that time.

NW

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