Ellis County and District Attorney Ann Montgomery announced that Trenton Adams, 31, of Avalon, Texas, was convicted of capital murder by a jury and sentenced to life in prison without parole.
On March 24, 2021, Jordan Von Hoffman’s sister and friends were worried about him. He had not shown up for work and had not returned to his home. Friends knew that he had traveled from Mabank the previous Saturday to return a truck back to Trenton Adams. Von Hoffman’s sister and friends traveled to a location on Ensign Road outside of Ennis where they believed Adams had been staying. When they arrived at the location, they observed the truck, but did not see Von Hoffman or Adams. With permission from the owner of the property, they looked through the trailer on the property and in a shed. Inside the shed, they discovered what they believe to be a body wrapped in contractor plastic, a tarp, covered in paint and in a trash can. They also discovered another trash can wrapped and hidden. They called 911 and the Ellis County Sheriff’s Office arrived and began an investigation.
The Dallas County Medical Examiner’s Office determined that the body in one of the trash cans was Jordan Von Hoffman, and he had been killed by both compression of his neck and by blunt force trauma consistent with being hit in the head with a hammer. Von Hoffman had severe trauma all over his head and body and had also been “hog-tied” with both his arms and legs bound behind his body. In a second trash can, investigators discovered a hammer and other items such as bloody gloves.
The Ellis County Sheriff’s Office found items in the trailer and trash cans that were purchased from Home Depot. Home Depot surveillance video showed Adams and another person purchasing trash cans, paint, contractor plastic, gloves, and other items the day before and the morning of the murder. Laboratory tests indicated that Adams’ DNA was on the inside of the gloves. Von Hoffman’s DNA was found on the hammer and the gloves. Phone and Facebook records showed that during the same period that the items were purchased from Home Depot, Adams and the other person were messaging and calling Von Hoffman— encouraging him to come over.
The Sheriff’s Office obtained a warrant for Adams. Adams fled to San Marcos, then travelled to Fort Worth, and was finally captured in Houston. While on the run, Adams called into dispatch multiple times confessing to the murder. He also posted on Facebook admitting to the murder but saying that he did it because he found out that Von Hoffman hurt a child—which was determined to not true by investigators.
After arrest, Adams gave a new reason that Von Hoffman was killed. He told Sheriff’s investigators that a South American cartel had killed Von Hoffman and made him move his body. Adams gave a third reason for the killing when he sent a letter to the Ellis County and District Attorney’s Office. Again, he admitted to the killing but stated that he “worships death” and that he carries out “rites and rituals of Satanic worship, including blood sacrifices.”
The Sheriff’s Office also discovered that prior to the murder, Adams believed that Von Hoffman and Adams’ girlfriend had had a sexual encounter.
An Ellis County jury returned a guilty verdict for Capital Murder—that Trenton Adams had intentionally killed Jordan Von Hoffman during the course of attempting or committing kidnapping of Von Hoffman. Judge Cindy Ermatinger of the 443rd District Court presided over the case. Judge Ermatinger sentenced Adams to life without parole. By law, the sentence for capital murder in Texas is life without parole if the state is not seeking the death penalty.
“This was an extraordinarily brutal crime,” stated Montgomery. “I am pleased that justice was served for Jordan and his family. I am also thankful that Trenton Adams will never walk freely in Texas again.”
Assistant County and District Attorneys Cynthia Walker and Kayce Witt prosecuted the case, assisted by County and District Attorney Investigator Joe Aguilar and lead felony clerk Karen Hendricks. The case was investigated by lead Investigator Brian McIntosh, Sgt. Richard Hundley, and CSI Katie Cheek of the Ellis County Sheriff’s Office See less