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Man convicted of killing 3 to get out of prison years early

Hodges,Brian One.PNG
Posted at 4:35 PM, Oct 21, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-03 20:49:57-04

MONROE COUNTY — A New Albany man convicted of killing three people in a car crash in July 2017 will be getting out of prison years before his original sentence would have ended.

A Monroe County judge decided Thursday that Brian Hodges would be released to home detention in Floyd County.

Hodges pled guilty in 2019 to three counts of Causing Death When Operating a Motor Vehicle With a Controlled Substance and one lesser charge and was sentenced to 14 years.

Hodges will be released on November 15, 2021 and must report to Floyd County Community Corrections on November 16 at 11 a.m. for a home detention intake appointment.

A judge said Hodges' drivers license will remain suspended and he must attend a minimum of two AA/NA meetings for the duration of his sentence.

Hodges was driving a Miller Transportation passenger bus on July 22, 2017 when he crashed into a minivan on Old State Road 37 at the intersection of what is now I-69, causing a chain reaction. Investigators determined the bus was going 65 miles-per-hour when it hit the van, and the Monroe County Sheriff's Department says tests showed Hodges has amphetamines and methamphetamine in his system at the time of the crash.

Greenwood residents Rose Pettus, 54, Shante Lewis, 30 and Orlando Lewis, 30, all died in the accident.

Online court records show Hodges filed a motion to modify his sentence in April 2021. A court document shows Hodges was sentenced to "purposeful incarceration," where the court "specified its intent to consider a sentence modification upon the successful completion of the clinically appropriate substance abuse treatment program."

The motion says Hodges completed the Recovery While Incarcerated program on March 24, 2021 and “has maintained conduct free behavior while incarcerated.” It also stated that Hodges had an exit plan in place that included seeking further treatment and a goal of becoming a Certified Life Coach to help others with addiction.

In a hearing last month, Chief Deputy Prosecutor Jeffrey Kehr presented the testimony of four witnesses, three family members and a friend who all opposed the modification.

On Thursday, a judge granted the modification to Hodges' sentence. Online court records show the judge who sentenced Hodges in 2019 is the same one who was assigned to the sentence modification hearing.

“When the judge sentenced the defendant, she told him that if he completed the Purposeful Incarceration program in IDOC, she would ‘consider’ a modification. He demonstrated to her that he had completed the program,” Kehr said in an email.