TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) _ A man on death row for the murder of a Pasco County waitress will soon walk free.
The Florida Supreme Court ruled Thursday that there wasn’t enough evidence to convict Derral Hodgkins for the 2006 murder of 46-year-old Teresa Lodge.
Lodge was found dead in her Land O’Lakes apartment. She had been beaten, choked and stabbed multiple times.
Hodgkins’ skin was found under her fingernails, but investigators didn’t find a weapon or other evidence that placed Hodgkins at the scene.
The court said the skin found raises suspicion, but it wasn’t enough to convict Hodgkins.
The two dated years earlier and Hodgkins said they remained close.
He told investigators they had sex about three days before the murder and Lodge dug her nails into his back during the act.