JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A 25-year-old man who is in jail awaiting trial on charges of throwing a concrete block through the windshield of a car with a family inside pleaded not guilty Monday to first-degree murder charges after police said he asked associates to kill a man who was scheduled to testify against him.
Quintae Hudson was indicted by the Duval County grand jury on a charge of murder in the March 2016 shooting death of 62-year-old Michael Wright. According to the arrest warrant, Hudson directed associates to eliminate Wright, who gave police a deposition implicating Hudson in the assault. Police said directions to kill Wright were recorded in Hudson’s jail calls about one month before Wright was killed.
In addition to first-degree murder, the indictment also accuses Hudson of multiple counts of witness tampering and directing gang activities. If convicted, he faces life in prison.
The indictment doesn't say who carried out Wright's murder.
Wright was shot several times about 10 a.m. on Easter Sunday, 2016, at the Hollybrook Apartments, a gated complex on King Street, just south of Beaver Street.
Hudson has in jail since November 2015 on a charge of throwing deadly missiles into an occupied vehicle, after he was accused of throwing a piece of concrete through the windshield of a car with a young couple and small child inside.
Hudson had previously served a seven-year sentence in state prison on an armed robbery conviction in 2007, when he was 16 years old.
Since the shooting, the Hollybrook Apartments has increased security by hiring multiple security guards to monitor the complex.
Monitoring inmate calls
Police said Hudson set up Wright's murder from jail, giving directions over recorded phone conversations. Retired Jacksonville Sheriff's deputy and News4Jax crime and safety analyst Gil Smith said that monitoring every call from inmates would be very difficult and expensive.
"There's so many phone lines, and inmates are constantly on those phone lines," Smith said. "That would be a tremendous expense. It would really add to the budget to do something like that."
Smith said that despite the murder happening six months before Joe Brenton was killed in a murder that was also set up from jail, occurrences like these don't happen very frequently.
Smith added that despite Hudson's indictment, there could still be more arrests if investigators can determine who pulled the trigger.