LAKE COUNTY, Ohio (WOIO) - A jury has come to a decision in the attempted murder trial of a homeless man who admitted he badly injured four others with a hand saw in Painesville Township.
Brandon Hodgson was found not guilty on all attempted murder charges but found guilty of six out of the eight lesser felonious assault charges he also faced.
He will face his sentence on Dec. 11.
The jury deliberated for about four hours on Wednesday.
The 31-year-old was arrested in August.
He’s accused of attacking the four people, who were also homeless, in a wooded area where the group established a tent camp.
“I was terrified, but I cannot deny there was some anger,” he said on the witness stand.
Hodson claimed self-defense.
“I was afraid of being killed, murdered, and buried somewhere where no one would find me,” Hodgson said.
He and other witnesses testified that tension had been rising over Hodgson’s stolen phone.
It ultimately reached a boiling point shortly after midnight on Aug. 24.
Hodgson testified that one of the victims charged toward him with a flaming stick, and he grabbed the saw to defend himself.
Prosecutors challenged Hodson’s story, referring multiple times to the nature of the victims' injuries.
One woman was slashed across the face, the three men had serious cuts to the head and neck.
“You slice somebody across the neck because you’re trying to kill them,” said Assistant Lake County Prosecutor Rachael Wood.
Hodgson’s attorney Christopher Boeman suggested the self-defense argument is supported by the fact none of the other victims fled when the opportunity presented itself.
“He regrets that this happened. He regrets that he had to hit them with a saw. He felt that his life was in danger,” Boeman said.