PRESS RELEASE, 4/27/2010

Hamilton County Prosecutor Joseph T. Deters announces two murder indictments in cold cases


Today, Hamilton County Prosecutor Joseph T. Deters announced the indictments of Juan Kinney (DOB 4-5-48) and Willie Hodges (DOB 6-19-60) in two unrelated cold case homicides.

Kinney, formerly of Mt. Auburn, is charged with the August 7, 2000 stabbing death of Eric Veal. Veal was found stabbed to death in his Mt. Auburn apartment. Evidence collected at the crime scene revealed a blood type other than Mr. Veal's, indicating that his attacker may have been injured during the homicide. This unknown DNA was entered into the national CODIS database. In 2006, authorities were alerted that this DNA matched that of Juan Kinney who was, and still is, serving a life sentence in California under their three strikes policy. His first parole hearing in California is scheduled for 2100.

Hodges, formerly of Downtown, is charged with the March 19, 2003 stabbing death of LaVerne Jansen. Ms. Jansen was also found stabbed to death in her apartment on Clevesdale Drive. Cincinnati Homicide Detective Jenny Luke discovered that Willie Hodges was charged with a similar homicide in Florida and developed information that, along with DNA, led to his indictment in Hamilton County today. In 2009 Hodges was convicted in the Florida homicide and currently sits on Florida's death row.

If convicted of these crimes in Ohio, Kinney would face 15 years to life in prison and Hodges would face life with parole. However, given the facts of their incarceration in other states, no warrants for their arrest accompany the indictments today.

Prosecutor Deters commented, "It is my wish that the victims' families take some comfort in today's indictments. The reality is that we may never get these defendants to Ohio for prosecution in these cases; but that does not mean that law enforcement takes these tters lightly. The only reason that we are not pursuing their respective returns to Ohio is that one is on death row and one is serving a life sentence."