WOODBURY — Failing to have his bail cut in half or be released on his own recognizance, James D. Hodges, 42, of Woodbury, remained in jail today March 6 in default of $150,000 bail on charges he participated with a Paulsboro man in a Dec. 11 robbery of a Deptford Express Mart convenience store.
Hodges also was charged with possession of narcotics and drug paraphernalia after his arrest with codefendant Brian Robinson, 33, a short distance from the robbery scene.
In a bail-reduction hearing, Hodges’ lawyer asked Superior Court Judge M. Christine Allen-Jackson to consider releasing Hodges with an electronic monitoring bracelet, since bail reform legislation is “leaning toward ROR (release on recognizance)” for jail inmates. Alternately, the attorney requested a reduction of bail from $200,000 to $100,000, saying the lower amount was still significant.
Codefendant Robinson has signed a statement saying Hodges was unaware of the robbery at knifepoint, the defense attorney added.
Assistant Gloucester County Prosecutor Joseph Enos pointed out that when Deptford police pulled over a car on Delsea Drive driven by Hodges with Robinson a passenger shortly after the robbery, Robinson was in possession of $287 and Hodges had $557. Hodges “knew what was happening and shared in the proceeds,” Enos contended.
Noting Hodge’s record of eight felony indictable convictions, most of them narcotics offenses in Gloucester, Salem and Camden counties, Allen-Jackson said the bail guideline for a first-degree robbery charge ranges from $100,000 to $200,000.
“I see no reason to go down to the bottom of the range,” the judge said in resetting bail at $150,000 with no option of posting 10 percent of the amount. Hodges additionally has bail of $25,000 on the drug charges.