"Contagious" felon faces new battery charge

"Contagious" felon faces new battery charge

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - Before she could appear before a judge Monday on new charges, a woman previously convicted of manslaughter had to be dressed in a hospital gown, mask, and gloves.

Veronica Lekesha Hodges, 43, of Jonesboro is charged with second-degree domestic battering, a Class C felony. She's accused of hitting and choking a 66-year-old man.

On Feb. 6, officers responded to an unknown disturbance in the 1100-block of Hope Street.

When police arrived, the probable cause affidavit said Hodges met them at the door claiming she had been having chest pains, but that "everything is okay now."

"Officers found that this was not true," the court documents said.

Inside the house, officers found the elderly victim.

"The victim stated that Ms. Hodges had choked him and struck him in the mouth and head," Detective Mike McCanless stated in the affidavit.

On Monday, Hodges appeared in video court before Craighead County District Judge Tommy Fowler.

She was the last suspect called after jailers informed that court that Hodges was "contagious" with an unspecified illness and they would need time to get her ready.

When she stepped in front of the Skype camera, Hodges wore a hospital gown and gloves. A mask covered her mouth and nose, muffling her voice.

After reviewing the court documents, Fowler found probable cause existed at the time of her arrest to charge her and set her next court appearance for March 30.

Hodges, who pleaded guilty in 2016 to stabbing Victor Beaugard of Blytheville, is being held on a $25,000 cash/surety bond.

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