Enough evidence was presented during a preliminary hearing, which began on March 8 and concluded March 15, that 31 year-old Eddie Dodge may have committed the crime in question.

Siskiyou County Superior Court Judge JoAnn Bicego concluded on Friday that probable cause was shown to have an Anderson man held over for trial in the murder of a Texas man whose body was found by a utility worker near Weed last month.

Enough evidence was presented during a preliminary hearing, which began on March 8 and concluded March 15, that 31 year-old Eddie Dodge may have committed the crime in question.

Bicego reported that she would enter a holding order, would hold Dodge to answer to the murder charge and would not set any bail.

An arraignment for Dodge will be held on Thursday, March 28 at 8:30 a.m. in the Siskiyou County Courthouse.

The body of 31 year-old Texas resident Hunter Sims was spotted Feb. 7 at the bottom of an embankment near Old Stage Road in the vicinity of Eddy Creek Road, northwest of Weed.

Siskiyou County District Attorney Kirk Andrus, who is prosecuting the case, called a number of witnesses to the stand, all of whom are law enforcement officers. Siskiyou County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Scott Stock was the first to testify. He said that after arriving at the scene of the crime, he spoke to two residents who live in the vicinity where Sims’ body was found. Both people reported hearing four gunshots around 11 p.m. on Feb. 5.

James Randall, the detective sergeant in charge of the Siskiyou County Sheriff Office’s Major Crimes Unit, testified after Stock and reported that four shell casings were found at the scene. By observing the scene, Randall said he believed Sims was shot and killed on the shoulder of Old Stage Road. Based on the grouping of the casings, he said it appeared the shooter was not moving while shooting.

A white Nissan was present at the scene, and after searching the contents of the car, officers found a briefcase containing documents with Sims’ name on them. Also located among the documents was a receipt with the name of a woman who is also connected to the case.

According to Randall, that woman said that she knew Dodge from previous business dealings involving marijuana. The woman said that on Feb. 5, she and Dodge were involved in one such transaction when Dodge called her and said the deal had gone south and shots had been fired. The woman reported that Sims was at the location with Dodge.

Randall also spoke about a conversation he had with a local man, who reported that the marijuana deal Dodge was involved in went sideways when Dodge was confronted by at least four armed Hmong individuals. The man reported that Dodge said he fired three to four shots from his vehicle while fleeing the scene.

The man said Dodge was in his own vehicle, traveling ahead of Sims when he fired the shots.

According to individuals law enforcement spoke with, Dodge had alleged the last time he’d seen Sims was at the scene of the marijuana deal.

Dodge’s hearing continued at the Siskiyou County Courthouse on Friday, March 15 with Andrus continuing his questioning of Randall. The detective shared more details from his conversations with the woman who had been involved in a marijuana-related transaction with Dodge on Feb. 5.

Randall noted that the location where the marijuana deal Dodge was involved in allegedly took place was at the home of an Asian couple that Dodge said he’d been to four or five times previously. He said he had done business with the couple a total of eight or nine times.

It was at that location that Dodge told Randall the deal went bad and shots were fired. When Dodge told the woman who was also involved in the transaction that that was the last time he’d seen Sims, he agreed to take her to the location the next day.

However, Randall said, when Dodge tried to take the woman to the location, he said he was unable to find it. She told Randall she was confused by that, as he said he’d been there four or five times previously. Randall said when the woman asked Dodge why he wasn’t able to find the house, some details of his story changed.

The woman told Randall that Dodge had told her she needed to make sure her story was straight.

After Randall’s testimony concluded on Friday, Dodge’s attorney said in his statement that there is no physical evidence to connect Dodge to Sims’ murder. The attorney further stated that the theory of murder for financial gain is not supported as no money was found in Dodge’s possession. He asked the court to remove the special circumstance of financial gain and set bail for Dodge.

Andrus then made his own statement, and asserted that Dodge’s attorney argued more about the special circumstance in the case than about the murder charge itself. Andrus also pointed out that $150,000 related to the marijuana deal is unaccounted for. He asked Bicego to hold Dodge to answer to the murder charge.

Bicego noted that “there are any number of unanswered questions at this point” in Dodge’s case. Referring to Dodge’s attorney’s statement that there is no physical evidence to connect Dodge to the murder, Bicego noted that there are items being analyzed by the Department of Justice, so there may be physical evidence.

Bicego added that she found it significant that Dodge “couldn’t find” the location where the shooting took place the very next day.