HOUSTON - Within just a few weeks of getting his get out of jail free card, 35-year-old George Albert Hodge became a wanted fugitive and then accused killer.
Just three years ago, 61-year-old Greg Downs was a proud father of the bride.
"My heart just aches. I wish I could hug him and tell him it's going to be ok," said Downs' daughter Ashley Ballesteros. "It's just hard to believe you never think this is going to happen to you, it's something you see on the news."
On November 3, Downs would cross paths with George Hodge.
"Basically from 2006 until right now, he's been in and out of county jails and prisons. He's got eight prior felony convictions," said Andy Kahan with Crime Stoppers.
But that didn't stop 185th Criminal District Court Judge Jason Luong from granting Hodge a PR bond for a felony evading arrest charge.
"In less than two weeks he was violating his bond conditions, didn't show back up for court," Kahan said.
According to police, Hodge was a wanted fugitive when he stole a car on November 3 and showed up at a motel in the 12900 block of the Northwest Freeway.
"He went door to door robbing people. He had a black bandana over his face," Ballesteros said.
Greg Downs, who was outside, took down Hodge's license plate. Hodge apparently noticed Downs had witnessed his crime spree.
"It was George Hodge at the door, and he had a knife, and started stabbing my dad," said Ballesteros.
Downs was rushed to the hospital.
"The day after the attack, my sister and I were both with him holding his hand, and he actually came to at one point. He saw us next to him holding his hand, so he knew he was safe, and we were with him," said Ballesteros.
Police were able to arrest Hodge because Downs wrote down the license plate.
"These judges need to be held accountable for granting people like George Hodge bond," Downs' daughter said.
"They have to feel the system let them down," Kahan said.
"It's just unfathomable actually losing someone you love is heartbreaking, but losing them to murder, it's gut-wrenching really," Ballesteros said.