In a recent announcement, Ellis County and District Attorney Ann Montgomery revealed that Trenton Adams, 31, of Avalon, Texas, has been convicted of capital murder by a jury and sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.
The case stems from events on March 24, 2021, when concerns arose about Jordan Von Hoffman, who had not shown up for work or returned home. Friends traced his last whereabouts to a property on Ensign Road outside of Ennis, where Adams was believed to have been staying. Upon arriving at the location, they discovered a truck but no sign of Von Hoffman or Adams.
With permission from the property owner, a search was conducted, leading to the discovery of a body wrapped in contractor plastic, a tarp, and covered in paint inside a shed. Another trash can, also wrapped and hidden, was found. Authorities were alerted, and the Ellis County Sheriff’s Office initiated an investigation.
The Dallas County Medical Examiner’s Office determined that the body was indeed Jordan Von Hoffman, and he had suffered a violent death due to neck compression and blunt force trauma, consistent with a hammer attack. Von Hoffman had been severely injured, "hog-tied" with both arms and legs bound behind him.
Investigators found items purchased from Home Depot in the trailer and trash cans, supported by surveillance footage showing Adams and another person buying materials such as trash cans, paint, contractor plastic, gloves, and a hammer on the day before and the morning of the murder. Laboratory tests revealed Adams' DNA on the gloves and Von Hoffman's DNA on the hammer and gloves.
Phone and Facebook records indicated that Adams and the other person were in contact with Von Hoffman during the purchase period, encouraging him to visit. Adams fled after a warrant was issued, ultimately confessing to the murder multiple times through calls to dispatch and a Facebook post. During his time on the run, Adams provided conflicting reasons for the killing, including false claims about a South American cartel's involvement and later citing a belief in Satanic worship and a prior alleged encounter between Von Hoffman and Adams' girlfriend.
Following an investigation and trial, an Ellis County jury returned a guilty verdict for Capital Murder, finding that Adams intentionally killed Von Hoffman during the commission or attempted kidnapping. Judge Cindy Ermatinger of the 443rd District Court presided over the case, delivering a sentence of life without parole, as per Texas law when the death penalty is not sought.
Assistant County and District Attorneys Cynthia Walker and Kayce Witt prosecuted the case, supported by Investigator Joe Aguillar and lead felony clerk Karen Hendricks. The Ellis County Sheriff’s Office conducted the investigation, led by Investigator Brian McIntosh, Sgt. Richard Hundley, and CSI Katie Cheek. Montgomery expressed satisfaction with the verdict, calling the crime "extraordinarily brutal" and emphasizing justice for Von Hoffman and his family.