We are essential, and so are you! Our firm is still open for business and accepting new clients. To protect your safety in response to the threats of COVID-19, we are offering new and current clients the ability to meet with us via telephone or through video conferencing. Please call our office to discuss your options.
Free Consultation

Pasco Death Penalty Retrial Begins

In a murder trial in Pasco County this week, prosecutors told jurors that Teresa Lodge scratched the person who attacked and killed her in Land O'Lakes in September 2006. A year later, law enforcement decided that DNA evidence contained in scrapings from Lodge's fingernails implicated Derral Wayne Hodgkins. The State now claims that Lodge and Hodgkins got into a fight, Hodgkins tried to choke Lodge and ultimately stabbed her 10 times.

Hodgkins was charged with first-degree murder and could face the death penalty if convicted. This week's trial is the second time a jury has been in place to hear the case against Hodgkins. A previous trial was halted and declared a mistrial just before the jury was set to deliberate, due to improper testimony that prejudiced Hodgkins.

Prosecutors told the jury of several lies they claim Hodgkins told police during the investigation. Tampa Bay area criminal defense attorney Bjorn Brunvand cross-examined a witness for the prosecution about some lies that she told police during the investigation. A friend of Lodge's, this witness covered up the fact that Lodge sold drugs. She also didn't tell the police anything about having seen Hodgkins at Lodge's apartment a few days prior to the murder, something she now told the jury occurred.

The trial is expected to wrap up Friday. The state is seeking the death penalty. In Florida, juries recommend whether a defendant should be sentenced to death. The final imposition of sentence is carried out by a judge, who can choose to follow or not follow a recommendation of the death penalty.

Hodgkins maintains his innocence.

See Also:

  • Pasco Death Penalty Trial Ends in Mistrial
  • Pasco Death Penalty Trial Begins

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information

Member of The Following Legal and Practice Organizations

  • American inns of court
  • norml
  • National association of criminal defense lawyers
  • Clearwater bar association
  • Florida Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers

Let Us Help You

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.


Privacy Policy

Clearwater Office
615 Turner Street
Clearwater, FL 33756

Phone: 727-315-1685
Phone: (727) 446-7505
Fax: 727-446-8147
Clearwater Law Office Map

Tampa Office
1710 N. 19th Street
Unit #210
Tampa, FL 33605

Phone: 727-315-1685
Map & Directions

Please Direct All Correspondence to the Clearwater Office