Man accused of killing Heather Hodges found guilty of second-degree murder

Hodges has been missing for over a decade, her body was never found

FRANKLIN COUNTY, Va. – The man accused of killing Heather Hodges has been found guilty after a three-day-long trial.

Hodges has been missing for over a decade. Her then-boyfriend, Paul Jordan, was tried for her murder, though her body has never been found.

A forensics expert testified during day three of the trial that they used dirty underwear to obtain a probable DNA sample from Hodges, and that DNA matched blood found in Hodges and Jordan’s bedroom.

An investigator also took the stand and described questioning Jordan.

Jordan said he met Hodges through her mother.

“I stopped by there and I dropped off the dope to her and Heather was there and she was like 12 I think she was like well what are y’all doing I was like we’re leaving to go six flags and she was like cool I want to go to six flags,” Investigator Holly Willoughby said as she read off the statement.

Prosecutors said Jordan was 29 years old at that time when Hodges was 12. Jordan told investigators they didn’t get together until she was 16.

The jury deliberated for only about an hour on Thursday evening.

After deliberations, the jury presented a verdict: Jordan is guilty of second-degree murder and guilty of concealing a body.

Hodges sister Crystal Songer said justice is finally served.

“Like I should shout it from the rooftops but they told me to be a little quiet to respect everyone here,” Songer said.

Commonwealth’s Attorney Bryan Haskins said he poured many hours of work into this case.

“We were just very happy that the jury spoke because they spoke not just on behalf of Heather by bringing her justice but they spoke to the defendant and told him what wrong he had done,” Haskins said.

Defense attorney Steve Milani said this was the most complex murder case he’s ever tried … and he’s tried a lot of them.

“There was a lot of evidence the jury considered it was they made their decision and I respect that,” Milani said.

Songer says it’s a step toward closure.

“I’d rather swing then miss than never swing at all. And today showed that God wanted us here and wanted the jury to see all of the evidence that was there. And we got our justice,” she said.

Jordan has a sentencing scheduled on August 22 at 1 p.m., and we’ll have more updates as they become available.

10 News has been following this trial since day one. Read previous coverage below:

Jury trial begins for man accused of killing his girlfriend in Franklin County

Heather Hodges court case continues with day two of jury trial

About the Authors

Amy Cockerham joined the 10 News team in January 2023.

Alli Graham came aboard the digital team as an evening digital content producer in June 2022.

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