Local real estate agent charged with first degree murder

Scott James Hodges and John Robert Spencer

A local real estate agent in Sebastian has been charged with first degree murder following an investigation into the death of a missing man from Vero Lake Estates.

A relative of Spencer contacted the Indian River County Sheriff’s Office after his disappearance. The parent then discovered Spencer’s vehicle parked outside Scott Hodges’ house. When investigators spoke to Hodges, he said, “John is not doing well and will not be back,” court records show.

On two occasions, Hodges told investigators, “that’s not good” when referring to what happened with Spencer. Hodges then changed his story several times and added that he and Spencer were both drug addicts.

Investigators found a stolen .40 caliber black Glock handgun located inside Hodges’ residence during a search warrant.

Hodges told investigators that Spencer visited his residence on the day of his disappearance.

“He thought he was acting weird and maybe he was armed. Hodges informed that he and Spencer left to take drugs and that they stopped at Spencer’s residence. Hodges said Spencer was acting weird, and he saw messages on his phone that spoke of murder and suicide, ”the investigator said. Hodges said Spencer armed himself with a handgun, and that’s when he went into hiding with a gun for his safety.

The two then left Spencer’s house and found themselves in the 8400 block of 90th Avenue. Hodges said the two were arguing in his truck and he pulled over.

As the argument continued, he and Spencer walked east through the wooded area. According to the affidavit, Hodges said he drew his gun and shot Spencer, then fired three more shots at Spencer to “keep him from suffering.”

According to Hodges, the gun was his and he armed himself because of Spencer’s alleged behavior. When investigators asked Hodges why he pulled out the gun, Hodges said “it was him or me.”

When investigators found Spencer in the woods, he was carrying a beige handgun in his belt in a holster. Spencer was allowed to carry, but Hodges had a stolen gun. They also recovered four used .40 caliber cartridge cases and an unfired cartridge from the scene.

“I think this murder was premeditated on the basis that Hodges said it was him or me, shot the pistol and hit Spencer, then shot three more times while Spencer was on the ground. Hodges made no attempt to provide or call for help, and these actions resulted in the death of John Spencer, ”the investigator wrote in the affidavit.

Hodges was charged with first degree murder and taken to Indian River County Jail, where he remains without bail.

DISCLAIMER: Arrests and passport photos have been made public through affidavits of complaint, affidavits of arrest and police reports. All those arrested are innocent until proven guilty.

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