No charges for trucker who shot, killed burglar

Prosecutors opted against filing charges against a trucker who fatally shot a burglar entering the trucker's parked rig in West Knox County.

"Our recommendation is not to charge that gentleman," said John Gill, special counsel to Knox County District Attorney General Randy Nichols.

The trucker, Richard Vance Allen, 68, of North Carolina shot James Edward Hodges Jr., 34, of Loudon about 2:30 a.m. Wednesday.

Gill said he was unsure if the trucker had a permit to carry the handgun he used in the shooting while his rig was parked at a warehouse parking lot at 10720 Lexington Road.

"We weren't concerned with that," Gill said. "We were concerned whether the homicide was justified or not. We determined that it was."

Martha Dooley, spokeswoman for the KCSO, said Allen did not have a permit to carry the 9 mm semi-automatic handgun he used in the shooting.

Because the District Attorney's General office did not recommend a charge against Allen regarding the weapon, Dooley said no charge will be lodged.

Allen could not be reached Monday for comment.

Authorities said Allen was sleeping in the cab of the tractor trailer when someone knocked on the door of the rig and tried to open the door. A few minutes later someone threw a rock through a window of the cab, smashing the glass.

When Hodges tried to enter the cab a few minutes after the window was broken, Allen shot him in the chest, according to records.

Allen suffered chest pains after the shooting and was taken to a hospital. Dooley said Allen spent most of the day in the hospital but was released later that evening.

A woman described as Hodges' half-sister accompanied him on the criminal endeavor, records show. Kristin Lea Hodges, 27, told detectives she had driven Hodges to the scene.

"The witness stated that she had driven the suspect on all three occasions to the semi-truck and that the suspect was intending to burglarize the vehicle," the report states.

Dooley said Kristin Hodges was not charged in connection with the incident.