HOUSTON, TX – Out on bond for a murder charge, Corey Hodge was supposed to be honoring multiple restrictions and conditions, including being on home confinement and wearing a GPS monitor.
But Hodge, 18, has violated those terms an astonishing 37 times since last October, when he posted bonds totaling $270,000 and walked out of jail.
18-year-old Diego Langhum's life came to a violent end on April 17, 2021, at 1455 Lakeside Estates Drive. https://t.co/rf7bst64FG
— FOX26Houston (@FOX26Houston) June 23, 2022
Hodge is accused of killing 18-year-old Diego Langhum on April 17, 2021, in a shooting at an apartment complex on Lakeside Estates Drive that also wounded a friend of Langhum’s.
Diego Langhum’s mother, Stacy Langhum, spoke with FOX26 Houston about her son’s murder, which she called cold-blooded. She said:
“I know personally from some of Diego’s friends he did not know him.”
Before being scooped up for that shooting, police say Hodge shot and wounded another man three months later, on July 12, 2021.
Police arrested him in August 2021 and charged him with one count of murder and two counts of aggravated assault. He spent two months in a cell before bonding out, where he proceeded to violate the terms of his release.
At a May 27 bond condition violation hearing, Harris County Pretrial Services advised 176th Criminal District Court Judge Nikita Harmon of the more than three dozen times Hodge had violated his house arrest.
On April 17, 2021, police say Hodge shot and killed a 17-year-old man, and wounded an 18-year-old at 1445 Lakeside Estates Drive. https://t.co/KvHbQ71BPJ
— FOX26Houston (@FOX26Houston) June 22, 2022
It wasn’t the first time the court heard of his serial noncompliance but it must have finally gotten the judge’s attention.
Hodge had previously been hauled into Harmon’s courtroom on April 22 to respond to the claims of noncompliance but it seemed more of an opportunity for him to mock the homicide victim and his family.
Stacy Langhum spoke with FOX26 Houston about the lack of accountability in Hodge’s case. She was in court for his appearance in April and she had this to say:
“For one, he came to court 45 minutes late, and like the shirt I have on now with my son’s face on it, I had an orange shirt on. He looked at it, and he laughed along with his mother.”
Afterward, Hodge continued to violate his bond conditions, authorities said.
Andy Kahan with Crime Stoppers noted that in October, Hodge had the resources to post bonds totaling $270,000 but just a month later, he claimed he couldn’t afford the monthly fee to obtain a GPS device. Kahan said:
“This is clearly . . . you are breaking your bond conditions.”
Houston City Councilmember Michael Kubosh, an opponent of bail reform, said:
“The monthly GPS fees aren’t that much, so in other words, he’s basically saying he doesn’t want to have a GPS on him, or he doesn’t want to have to pay for it.”
Kahan called Hodge out for shrugging off the pretrial release terms. He said:
“It’s clearly obvious by the documentation, he had zero intentions of abiding by any condition of his bond.
“You are supposed to be on a GPS, you are supposed to be under 24-hour house arrest. None of that happened within days and weeks of getting out on bond.
“If this would have happened in 2015, the first time he offended, the judge would have surrendered his bond, called him in. They would have had him arrested and brought to court.”
On June 17, the District Attorney’s Office filed a motion to revoke Hodge’s bond, which Judge Harmon granted.
In a statement, Harris County Pretrial Services told FOX26:
“As a practical matter, we make every effort to bring non-compliant defendants into compliance as quickly as possible, including any necessary contact with the defendant.
“Mr. Hodge was repeatedly advised of his obligations by his pre-trial officer. He was also admonished by the judge on April 22 and was continued on supervision.”
“His further noncompliance resulted in revocation of bond.”
Hodge is behind bars but Diego’s family questions why it took Judge Harmon so long to act. Stacy Langhum said:
“She’s to blame. She dropped the ball.”
Diego’s grandmother, Rosalinda Chavez, noted:
“If I were a judge, this wouldn’t have happened. Why she let it go, I don’t know. I have no idea, but this needs to be stopped.”
Elected Democrats in crime-filled Houston try to move the blame from judges to bail bonding industry
March 17, 2022
HOUSTON, TX – The Harris County Commissioners Court blames the Houston bail bond industry for the rise in violent crime since defendants are no longer required to pay the 10% minimum of the bond amount. But who is really to blame?
— Bill Kelly (@billkellytexas) March 9, 2022
State Senator John Whitmire said,
“We’ve got a serious problem. Every elected official, at every level, has to admit we have a crisis.
It’s not safe on the streets of Houston.”
Mario Garza, President of the Professional Bondsmen of Harris County Association, remarked that approximately only 6 out of 80 bond companies located in Houston are offering lower amounts than the standard 10 percent.
“I think it’s disingenuous, I think it solves nothing.
“Next month there’s legislation that goes into effect that will basically require judges view a person’s criminal history and they actually have to sign off on that before setting bond.”
The Criminal District Court Judges are being pointed to as the cause of the city’s rise in violent crime.
These judges are allowing multiple bonds to be granted to repeat violent offenders rather than revoking the bonds and placing the offenders back in jail.
Senator Whitmire said,
“We have a problem when you have 700 murderers loose in Harris County with an outstanding warrant.”
In response to the growing problem, Senator Whitmire is proposing a law that will require 10% payment for every bond issued.
Senator Whitmire voiced his concern saying,
“Certain judges need to go to work and work overtime to clear their docket and hold repeat violent offenders accountable.”
Andy Kahan of Crime Stoppers commented,
“Everybody knows going in if you get a $100,000 bond charged with a robbery or a murder then you’re going to have to put up 10% to get out.
“That is fair and we will support Senator Whitmire’s legislative proposal.”
Recently, Harris County held a Bail Bond Board meeting to discuss and vote on forcing bail bonding companies to require defendants to pay 10% of their bond for violent crimes.
Those in favor of the proposal said that it will help reduce crime rates while those opposed say there is a lack of evidence to support this claim and that this is part of a political agenda aimed at the November elections.
In regards to the ongoing battle with bail bonds, Harris County has made a decision with low posting bonds. https://t.co/lYVrEXYFBq
— ABC13 Houston (@abc13houston) March 11, 2022
Judge Lina Hidalgo and others were disappointed in the outcome when the vote did not pass.
Those in attendance say it failed because Angela Rodriguez, interim chair of the Bail Bonding Board, and a representative from the DA’s office abstained from voting.
Don’t miss it. Judge Hidalgo intends to vote to require bail bond industry to not undercut high bail amounts being set by judges. https://t.co/wn2P5BRj8U
— Rafael Lemaitre (@CJOspox) March 9, 2022
Paul Castro, whose 17-year-old son David, was killed in a road rage incident while exiting an Astros game during the summer said,
“The killer was a two time violent felon who had not even been out of prison for a full year, before he killed my son,
A month after his arrest, David’s killer was let out on bond.
The judge set the case bond at $350,000.
No one knows how much he actually paid for him to be released.
Traditionally, he would have had to come up with $35,000 to make bond, an amount that probably would have been high enough to keep him in jail today.
He’s not in jail today. Because of the gap in bail bond policy, he is free on less than $35,000.”
Bail bondsmen Shaun Burns doesn’t believe enough evidence exists to support the theory that a minimum fee would reduce crime.
“It’s smoke and mirrors.
Crime is through the roof in our city we can all agree on that,
This is not a solution to the problem.
In fact it limits our ability to get poor people out of jail, which historically is a problem.
It’s not going to do anything to reduce the crime rate.”
The failure to pass this measure has left the families of victims feeling ignored and living in fear of what could happen to them while these violent offenders are free instead of being put behind bars.
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