Charges dismissed against Deajai Hodges, who had been accused in fatal freeway shooting

Deajai Hodges

MILWAUKEE -- A Milwaukee County judge dismissed the charges against Deajai Hodges in connection with a fatal shooting incident that unfolded near I-41 and Hampton Avenue in May 2018.

Hodges originally faced a felony charge of first-degree reckless homicide, as a party to a crime, use of a dangerous weapon in the case. But on Monday, Jan. 27, the prosecution offered a motion to dismiss the case without prejudice. That motion was granted by the court. Online court records did not offer more detail as to why the charges were dismissed.

Shooting incident on I-41 at Hampton Ave.

According to the criminal complaint, law enforcement was dispatched to a vehicle that had left the roadway and driven into a ditch to the west of southbound I-41 at W. Hampton Avenue late on Sunday, May 13, 2018. The Milwaukee County sheriff’s deputy saw a Kia Forte “well off the freeway, wedged between trees.” There was “what appeared to be a bullet hole in the driver’s side window” — and the driver of the vehicle was slumped in his seat. The victim later died from his injuries at Froedtert Hospital.

Shooting incident on I-41 at Hampton Ave.

A witness told authorities “she was driving southbound on the freeway in the far right lane when she heard a ‘pop’ sound. The noise was loud and (the witness) immediately thought that it was a gunshot.” Moments later, the witness indicated she saw a speeding vehicle strike her passenger side — and “went off the roadway into the right ditch.” The witness called 911 to report the incident. While the witness was waiting, she spotted another white vehicle that “slowed, looked, and then continued south. (The witness) said the vehicle’s behavior was unusual, but that she was unsure if the white vehicle was involved.”

The complaint indicated a check of the vehicle that crashed “revealed that it had been reported stolen earlier that same day” by a family member of the vehicle’s owner.

Investigators also said a cell tower track of the Hodges' phone showed that her phone was in the area of the fatal crash. Investigators also tied text messages from Hodges’ phone to this case.