Kitchens says he made mistake in '01 testimony

By The Associated Press

COLUMBUS — Former prosecutor Jim Kitchens tells the Columbus Commercial Dispatch that he made a mistake when he testified in 2001 during the death-penalty sentencing of Quintez Wren Hodges.

U.S. District Judge Michael P. Mills this past Monday ordered a new sentencing hearing for Hodges. In doing so, Mills cited errors in Kitchens’ testimony.

Kitchens is now a circuit judge running for re-election.

In 2001, Kitchens was an assistant district attorney when he testified at Hodges’ sentencing in Lowndes County. He testified about Hodges’ conviction in a 1998 burglary case.

Mills said Kitchens’ testimony increased the jury’s antagonism toward Hodges and probably contributed to the death penalty decision.

Hodges was sentenced to death for the July 21, 1999, fatal shooting of Isaac Johnson.