TROY — The night of March 6, Stevie Hodgdon and his brother, Colby, were putting new floor boards in a 1990 Mustang at their grandfather’s auto repair shop and sharing a pizza for supper.

Hours later, their father, Steven Hodgdon, was dead, allegedly stabbed to death by Colby, who is 16. On April 1, Colby was arrested on a charge of murder.

Colby Hodgdon is remembered as smart, interested in cars, wanted to be an accountant and had aspirations of attending the local technical school. Stevie Hodgdon, 21, hadn’t spent much time with Colby in recent years, but in the last month before their father’s death, said he had gotten to know his younger half-sibling after the teen moved in with his father. Colby seemed to be adjusting to the area and making friends at Mount View High School in Thorndike.

Stevie said he remains mystified about why Colby would have killed his father and can’t think of any hints of conflict between them. Since losing both his father and brother, Stevie says he wonders what his brother is thinking.

“I really don’t know what I’d say to him,” he said. “I don’t know. What’s a good word for not feeling anything? Numb?”

Colby Hodgdon had lived in California and then Lewiston with his mother in recent years, but something happened that put the 16-year-old in danger of becoming homeless. Stevie Hodgdon said he and other family in Troy don’t know the details, but that situation is what led their father to take the teenager into his home on Rutland Road in early February.

It was a fresh start for Colby, who seemingly got along fine with his father.

“Steve said, ‘No, I’m not letting my kid live in a homeless shelter. I’ll give him a chance to live up here. Everyone needs a fresh start,'” Stevie said, recalling what his father said.

At around 7:30 p.m. March 6, after they finished work on the Mustang, Stevie dropped Colby off at their father’s house down the road.

He doesn’t know what happened after that, but knows that around 1 a.m. Colby called paramedics to the house to help his father.

By 4 a.m. Colby had vanished from the area, and by the next morning Stevie said he had learned from police that his father had died from a stab wound.

His father was generous, Stevie Hodgdon said. He’d “give you anything you asked for,” although he had few personal possessions and lived in a small camper with an addition he had added. His father loved fishing and working on cars, collecting antiques and painting.

“He could build anything, do anything and cook anything. He was the best body man I’ve ever seen in my life,” he said, recalling his father’s talent as an auto body repair man. “He could make a dumpster look like a hot rod.”

LIFE AFTER LEWISTON

Stevie said he wasn’t sure why Colby had nowhere to go after living for most of his life with his mother, Michelle Roy. Before his brother moved back to Troy, they hadn’t seen each other for five or six years.

Roy, on her Facebook page, lists her residence as Bakersfield, Calif. She attended Colby’s initial court appearance in Belfast last week. Attempts to contact Roy have been unsuccessful.

Steven Hodgdon had four children — Colby and Maria with Michelle Roy, and Stevie and Jeremy, who each have different mothers. Attempts to reach Maria and Jeremy were also unsuccessful.

If Colby Hodgdon killed their father, as police allege, Stevie Hodgdon can only speculate as to why.

“It must have been a disagreement they had. It’s hard telling,” he said. “I don’t know. I don’t have any idea. I wish I did.”

Stevie Hodgdon lives with his grandparents, Roger and Doris Hodgdon, who raised him and whom he calls mom and dad. As such, he calls his father Steve.

He said Colby and his father never argued. He wasn’t sure whether his father’s drinking may have played a role in what happened.

Heather Perry, superintendent of Regional School Unit 3, said Hodgdon was a student at Mount View High School for a short period of time — about two weeks — leading up to Hodgdon’s death.

Colby was making friends at his new school in Thorndike, according to his brother. He often spent afternoons in the garage, helping his brother work on cars, but never discussed his family in Lewiston or ever indicated that anything was bothering him, he said.

About three days after Hodgdon was killed, Colby transferred back to the Lewiston school district. Lewiston school officials did not respond to requests for comment.

Assistant Attorney General Leanne Zainea, who is prosecuting the case, would not describe Colby Hodgdon’s whereabouts following his father’s death.

Students at Lewiston High School interviewed outside the school last week said Colby hung out with a small group of friends and had a girlfriend. The students who claimed to have known him described him as everything from funny and quiet to “sketchy” and sometimes disrespectful to teachers.

They said he’d been in school as recently as late March before his April 1 arrest.

On April 3, Colby Hodgdon made his first appearance in Waldo County District Court in Belfast. Wearing Nike sneakers and a New England Patriots sweatshirt, the teenager made no comment except to acknowledge that he understood the charge against him and his legal rights. He also swore at photographers at the courthouse.

He is being held in detention pending a competence evaluation and is next scheduled to be in court on May 1. A competence evaluation is used to determine if a person understands the legal process and how to work with their attorney, which can be used as evidence for a judge to determine whether the person is competent to stand trial.

Stevie Hodgdon said he hasn’t seen or heard from Colby since the night of March 6.

“I can’t hate him. I have to accept him and accept things for what they are. He’s probably up four nights per week wondering what’s going to happen to him,” Hodgdon said. “He’s probably wondering, ‘What does my family think of me?'”

‘HE’S MY BROTHER’

Colby excelled at math. When he first came to Troy he had aspirations of becoming an accountant, which he had mapped out in a notebook and shared with his brother.

After hanging out in the garage for about a month, he changed his mind and decided he wanted to take auto technician classes at the Waldo County Technical Center, Stevie Hodgdon said.

“He told me, ‘I think it’s something I’m learning.’ He liked it and seemed to be having a lot of fun,” he said. He was also good at it — successfully mapping out the dimensions for a new floor plan in one of the cars they were working on so his brother could cut it with a torch.

“It fit the first shot,” Stevie said. “It was perfect and I appreciated it.”

“We never talked about any family issues,” he said. “It was straight up cars and what he did out there (in California).”

When he talks about how he feels about his brother, Hodgdon struggles to make sense of it.

“I can’t say I’m angry with him, and I can’t say I’m happy with him,” he said. “He’s my brother, and I can’t change that. I can’t trade him in, and I can’t think that way. He came here for a reason.”

Although he said he hadn’t seen his brother in several years, he had memories of being together when they were younger, including fishing together.

Hodgdon said one of his few memories of them as kids was when he was about 10 years old and was with Colby, who would have been about 5, and their other brother, Jeremy, at their grandparents’ house in Troy.

One night the trio shot the windshield out of a car in the garage with their BB guns.

“We told Colby not to snitch on us, and he was like, ‘I got it, I got it,'” Hodgdon recalled. “It was like this triangular code that we had. When my grandfather saw the car, he said, ‘What the hell did you guys do?’ but Colby sat there playing dumb like he should.

“I’ve still never ratted on my brother (Colby) for that and Colby didn’t, either. There was always a code. We never went back on one another.”

‘WE ALL GOT ALONG FINE’

Though he was raised by his grandparents, Stevie Hodgdon said he still saw a lot of his father, who was in and out of jail throughout his childhood — “mostly for stupid stuff” — but wrote him letters and sent him drawings.

Belfast court records show at least a dozen criminal convictions against Steven Hodgdon beginning in 1994 with a number of driving violations, assaults, criminal trespass and aggravated assault charges.

Though some friends acknowledged that Steven had an alcohol problem, his son said he never saw that side of him and that he always made it to work on time each day. In October, Steven Hodgdon pleaded guilty to a charge of aggravated assault for hitting one of his brothers on the head with a pipe on March 12, 2014. Police reports indicate that alcohol was involved in an argument that led to the assault.

Steven Hodgdon had a hard time coping with the death of his sister, Sandy, who died of cancer the same day as the pipe assault — March 12, 2014 — but he was “pretty strong about it,” Stevie Hodgdon said. It added to the family’s pain that Steven died just a week before the one-year anniversary of Sandy’s death.

“I learned a lot from him,” Stevie said of his father. “I take it all to heart, and I ain’t going to forget. I’ve learned basically everything I needed to know, so I guess I can just treasure the tips (he taught me) and go from there.”

Steven Hodgdon was an employee at Sullivan’s Waste, a trash disposal and recycling business in Thorndike, which is owned by Butch and Ralph Sullivan. The Sullivans last week told the Morning Sentinel that Hodgdon was a dependable and hard worker.

As he got older, Stevie Hodgdon said he and his dad would drink coffee at Stevie Hodgdon’s grandparents’ house on Rutland Road, where he grew up and now works in his grandfather’s vehicle repair business, Hodgdon’s Garage. They didn’t talk much, but Steven would often poke his head into the garage where Stevie would be working and help him out if he had a question on a repair.

The two shared a love of cars — the father’s favorite was a Camaro and the son a Mustang.

“He was a good mechanic. He was self-taught, I guess,” Stevie Hodgdon said of his father. “My grandfather is a mechanic and always has been a mechanic since he was 15. So he probably picked up the trade from there. I got it, they had it. It’s in the blood I guess.”

His dad was also a great cook — it was one of the jobs he held while in prison — and taught him how to make hamburgers.

Steven Hodgdon lived alone with two nameless cats in his camper, but he had aspirations of building a two-bedroom house with a big TV room and speakers, his son said. He didn’t have a computer and he was fond of trading speakers, car parts and antiques with friends and people in town.

“Me and Steve got along fine,” Stevie Hodgdon said. “Me and Colby did, too. We all got along fine — seemed to anyways.”

Rachel Ohm — 612-2368

[email protected]

Twitter: @rachel_ohm


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