An ex-con accused of killing his lover and her teenage son during a confrontation at the woman’s Moreno Valley home pleaded not guilty today to double murder and other felony charges.
Rufus Hodges, 48, of Moreno Valley could face consecutive life sentences if convicted of the first-degree murder charges as well as one count each of burglary, child endangerment, assault with a deadly weapon and being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm.
Hodges allegedly gunned down 37-year-old Chelsea Crisp and her 15-year-old son at their house in the 24000 block of Myers Avenue last July 6.
The defendant appeared with his public defender before Riverside County Superior Court Judge J. Thompson Hanks, who set a felony settlement conference in the case for Feb. 19.
Hodges remains in custody, in lieu of $1 million bail, at the Robert Presley Detention Center in Riverside.
According to prosecutors, the defendant was romantically involved with Crisp even though he was married to another woman, with whom he had a child.
On the morning of the attack, Hodges allegedly forced his way into the victim’s home armed with a shotgun and shot her, apparently while quarreling over their relationship, according to witnesses and court documents.
When the woman’s oldest son attempted to come to her aid, Hodges shot the teen, prosecutors allege.
Neighbors called 911, and sheriff’s deputies arrived moments later to find Crisp dead and the boy gravely wounded. He died at Riverside County Regional Medical Center.
Hodges was located a few hours later at a residence in the 25200 block of Alessandro Boulevard, near Lasselle Street, where he was arrested without incident.
According to court records, he has a prior conviction in Riverside County for selling cocaine, for which he was sentenced to four years in prison in 1996.