Monday, September 12, 2011

High Springs, FL: High Springs man arrested in fatal shooting of his wife, son

By Chad Smith
Staff writer
Published: Sunday, September 11, 2011 at 6:46 p.m.
Last Modified: Sunday, September 11, 2011 at 6:46 p.m.
HIGH SPRINGS — A High Springs woman and her 22-year-old son were fatally shot Sunday afternoon, and the woman's estranged husband is expected to be charged in the shootings.

Trenda Owens Hogg, 48, was shot and killed in her front yard Sunday afternoon, and her estranged husband, Russell Dewayne "Rusty" Hogg, 58, sat in jail that evening suspected of killing her as well as the couple's son, Anthony Wayne Hogg.

An ornament hanging on the front door at the family's home at 240 Poe Springs Road announces "The HOGGS" above two hearts bearing the names Rusty and Trenda.

The rifle that investigators believe Hogg used was found on the property. While a motive for the shootings wasn't clear Sunday, Alachua County Sheriff's Office spokesman Art Forgey said an "ongoing domestic dispute is what led to this."

Forgey said High Springs police officers knew the Hoggs and had been to the family's house a number of times for domestic disputes.

"It was an address they were very familiar with," Forgey said.

Deputies arrested Russell Hogg without bond about a mile north of the Columbia-Alachua county line, where he was driving on State Road 441 in a blue Buick, Forgey said. Hogg was being held at the Columbia County jail Sunday night and will likely be charged with murder this morning and brought to Gainesville to be booked.

At 12:59 p.m., police were sent to the Hogg residence after receiving a call from relatives at the house of a shooting there.

Trenda Hogg and Anthony Hogg were found dead, both lying near a Ford pickup that police have been told was at the center of the original dispute, though it wasn't clear how.

"It's so early on that we haven't confirmed that one way or the other," Forgey said.

Several other people at the residence at the time of the shooting told officials Russell Hogg fired the shots, Forgey said.

A man who said he was riding a bicycle near the house at the time said he heard six gunshots — a burst of four followed by two more — then saw a blue car speeding down Poe Springs Road.

At the High Springs Church of God, less than a hundred yards from the Hoggs' home, pastor Terry Hull stood outside watching crime scene investigators comb over the yard.

Hull said that when the couple's children were adolescents, some would occasionally attend services without their parents.

Hull said Anthony Hogg had gotten into some trouble about eight years ago and needed to do volunteer work. The boy came to Hull to ask if he could do work around the church.

He would mow the yard and do other jobs, Hull said. "I had no complaints with him," he said.

But other than that, he knew little of the family.

In 2006, Hull said he attended the funeral of the couple's son, Elisha "Johnny" Hogg, 24, who was killed in a motorcycle accident. Johnny was survived by five siblings, including Anthony, according to his obituary in The Sun.

On Sunday, with police cars and television trucks lining the street, Hull said he knew something else had happened to his neighbors. He read an online news report on the shootings that had not yet identified the victims.

When told who they were, he shook his head.

"My goodness," he said.

Contact Chad Smith at or 338-3104.

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