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Suspect in Jennings County Murder Sentenced in Seperate Murder

A suspect in the murder of a Jennings County resident was sentenced for the murder of a different man.

Sgt. Noel Houze with the Indiana State Police says 53-year-old Paul Stucker, of Scott County, was sentenced Thursday in LaPorte County Superior Court II to 45 years in prison for the murder of Johnny Hodge. Stucker and Hodge were both prisoners at the Indiana State Prison in Michigan City. Hodge was serving a life sentence for a double murder. The sentencing was the result of Stucker's Feb. 13 conviction for throwing several gallons of fuel on to Hodge, causing him to be fatally burned.

In 2005, the Indiana State Police received information that Stucker was involved in Hodge's 1983 murder and the case was reopened. All parties in the case were re-interviewed and all evidence in the case was re-examined. In 2012 enough evidence was gained for Stucker to be arrested.

At the time this new information was received in the Michigan City homicide, Stucker was also being investigated in an unrelated homicide in Jennings County. Indiana State Police investigators believe there are individuals who may have information related to the Jennings County case who have been hesitant to come forward for fear of reprisal. With Stucker's most recent conviction and sentencing, Houze says he is no longer a threat.

Anyone who may have information regarding the Jennings County case is encouraged to contact the Indiana State Police at 812-689-5000 or 800-566-6704.

Last Updated: Friday, February 28, 2014 5:23:40 PM

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