Michigan woman shoots boyfriend dead at trampoline park after he attacked her son

FLINT, MI – Genesee County Prosecutor David Leyton has announced the woman who shot and killed her 43-year-old boyfriend at a trampoline park in Flint Township will not face charges.

At a Monday, Jan. 27 press conference, Leyton said he decided to not press charges in the shooting death of Flint resident Damon Darnell Hodges.

Hodges was pronounced deceased after being shot Jan. 18 inside Planet 3 Extreme Air Park.

Prior to the shooting, Leyton said the pair were alone inside the woman’s SUV in the parking lot after her 14-year-old son and two other children went into the building.

“They argued over his refusal to remove the snow from her car… and his failure to get a job. It got physical. He put his arm around her neck and strangled her while sitting in the car,” said Leyton. “She managed to get the driver’s side door open and kicked it out several times, knocking it into a car parked into the adjacent parking space.”

A driver in the other vehicle told police he heard the woman telling someone to call 911, but the person wasn’t sure if she was talking to him or someone in the SUV.

While moving the vehicle to check on damage, Leyton said the pair got out to talk before heading inside.

Surveillance video shows the man then got into a fight with the woman’s son inside the building. The woman — who had the weapon properly registered and a concealed pistol license — spots the pair fighting and shoots the man.

Leyton noted the woman knew Hodges to carry a knife and believed it was in his possession on the night of the shooting. A knife was later recovered by the police inside the SUV.

In reviewing the woman’s actions, Leyton said he had to ask if there was an “honest and reasonable belief for our shooter to think her life or the life of a loved one, in this case her son, was in danger of death or serious injury when she pulled that trigger.

“I believe her actions were reasonable under the law and I will not seek criminal charges against her,” he said.

Leyton noted Hodges had a long history of violent behavior. Chief Assistant Prosecutor Tammy Phillips provided a timeline of incidents dating back to 1993.

In the 1993 incident, Hodges tried to get two girls at a Burton gas station to come back to his home and party. He began to call them names and assault them when they declined the offer.

Hodges was then charged in 1995 with first-degree child abuse for assaulting his 16-month-old daughter that left her with brain damage, deaf and blind, Phillips said.

Leyton noted Hodges had a long history of violent behavior. Chief Assistant Prosecutor Tammy Phillips provided a timeline of incidents dating back to 1993.

In the 1993 incident, Hodges tried to get two girls at a Burton gas station to come back to his home and party. He began to call them names and assault them when they declined the offer.

Hodges was then charged in 1995 with first-degree child abuse for assaulting his 16-month-old daughter that left her with brain damage, deaf and blind, Phillips said.

Other incidents in 2009 2010, 2011, 2014 and 2015 involved Hodges strangling a woman.

Hodges met the woman involved in the Planet 3 Air Park incident in 2016, Phillips said.

In April 2019, he made threats to kill her and she spoke with the police.

Phillips also pointed to a pair of incidents in summer or fall 2019 when Hodges punched the woman’s son in the stomach, pinched him on the chest and used a belt to strangle him.

“I think you can understand why I ruled this homicide justified,” said Leyton.

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