MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A soldier is now facing life in prison after being found guilty of murder by a Dunklin County, Missouri jury.
Brant Winkle, 28, of Hornersville, MO has been sentenced on first-degree murder and armed criminal action charges by a jury on October 28. Winkle was found guilty in the shooting death of David Hodge in Dunklin County after a four-day trial.
Prosecutors presented evidence that Winkle drove to Hodge’s house in Cardwell, Missouri near the state line on October 7, 2020. The prosecution said that an eyewitness told them she saw Winkle get out of his vehicle and shoot Hodge twice.
According to the prosecution, Winkle told the witness he wanted to go back and shoot Hodge in the head.
The witness then reported the crime to law enforcement. When police arrived, they found Hodge with two gunshot wounds to the chest and one to head, lying in his own doorway.
Using phone location data, law enforcement were able to track Winkle to a cotton field across from the victim’s house.
While being transferred by deputies, authorities said Winkle told a deputy that he did not know if Hodge was alive or dead. According to reports, Winkle had methamphetamine, ecstasy and marijuana in his system at the time of his arrest.
It turned out that Winkle was on leave from the US Army at the time of the homicide. The prosecution said that he did not present any evidence of diminished capacity or PTSD, but Winkle’s attorney argued the eye witness actually committed the crime.
The jury deliberated for about 4 hours and 14 minutes before arriving at their decision, guilty.
Once Winkle had been convicted of first degree murder and armed criminal action, the jury sentenced him to life in prison without the possibility of parole for murder. In addition, they sentenced him to three years in prison for an armed criminal action charge.