Sheriff's daughter denies interfering with police
NEW BEDFORD, Mass. —
The daughter of Bristol County Sheriff Thomas Hodgson has pleaded not guilty to interfering with police at the scene of a non-fatal nightclub shooting in New Bedford last weekend.
Michelle Hodgson, 29, was arraigned Tuesday in New Bedford District Court and charged with intimidation of a witness.
According to police, Michelle Hodgson and another woman were outside the Jalice Caf on Saturday when police responded to the shootings.
Police were trying to disperse a large crowd impeding the medics who were trying to attend to one of the victims.
An officer said two women were on the sidewalk when one of them kicked a bloody boot of one of the victims. When an officer ordered them to leave and tried to guide the women from the scene, he said Michelle Hodgson yelled, "Don't touch me."
According to police, Michelle Hodgson yelled, "Do you know that my father's the sheriff?" She asked for his badge number and said she would have his job.
When NBC 10 asked Thomas Hodgson about his daughter's response to the officer, he said he thought it was appropriate for her to say, given the circumstances.
"It's clarifying I think. I wasn't there but it would be a comment from anybody if they think something is out of whack in regards to the law. Then they might say, 'This is my experience, I'm related to somebody in law enforcement. This isn't correct,'" he said.
An attorney for Michelle Hodgson said he denies the allegations.
"Michelle did nothing wrong that night, she's very confident that once the facts come out, she'll be completely exonerated. We don't want to try this in the press, but things will play out and she will be completely exonerated," Attorney Scott DeMello told the court.
Michelle Hodgson was released on personal recognizance. Her case is due back in court Oct. 29.
Thomas Hodgson told NBC 10 that based on the facts he's examined, he's confident his daughter will be exonerated.
"This is a situation that was not at all provoked by my daughter and was something she didn't deserve to have happen to her," he said. "In fact, I would submit the incident was provoked by the officer, but we'll let the courts decide that."
The New Bedford police chief told NBC 10 the officer's actions are under review and he's going to let the facts of the case play out.