Channel 7: WABC News

November 8, 2002
   

Alleged Cop Shooter May Go Free

There is really a lot at stake. You have the suspect, William Hodges, who is charged now with attempted murder for shooting a police officer in the leg back in 1999. He may now walk on a technicality. He may go free if the judge has her way. Police are angry about this and showed up in force today.

  
  Dozens of officers, detectives and police union leaders filed into court today, standing by their colleague, David Gonzalez.

It was a blue wall. Dozens of officers, detectives and police union leaders filed into court today, standing by their colleague, David Gonzalez.

  

Gonzalez was a uniformed officer on duty in 1999 when William Hodges allegedly shot him in the leg. It has been years and there has still been no trial.

 

Gonzalez was a uniformed officer on duty in 1999 when William Hodges allegedly shot him in the leg. It has been years and there has still been no trial. A judge says Hodges' right to a speedy trial has been violated and let him go free. Now, all charges against him, including attempted murder maybe dismissed.

Pat Lynch, PBA President: "Every police officer should be aware that this future murderer, a person who gunned down a New York City police officer, will be walking out of the courtroom."

  
  A judge says Hodges' (center) right to a speedy trial had been violated and let him go free

Prosecutors say it is not their fault. They blame the defense for the hold up. It has been 1,068 days without a trial. Prosecutors say they are only responsible for 38 days, which is well under the limit. But the defense lawyer fought back.

Arthur Friedman, Defense Attorney: "The prosecution's argument is illogical because if you follow it to its logical conclusion, it comes down to an absurdity."

The judge has two options now. The judge can allow the prosecution to continue with its arguments, which basically allows this trial to go on, or she could completely dismiss the charges. That decision will come on December 6th.