Ellis Co. man sentenced to life in prison for killing friend with hammer

An Ellis County man was sentenced to life in prison without parole for killing his friend with a hammer in 2021.

31-year-old Trenton Adams of Avalon was found guilty of capital murder by a jury and sentenced this week.

Trenton Adams (Source: Ellis County)

29-year-old Jordan Von Hoffman was found dead inside a trash can, wrapped in plastic, a tarp and covered in paint in March 2021.

The Dallas County Medical Examiner said Von Hoffman had been killed by compression of his neck and blunt force trauma consistent with being hit in the head with a hammer.

A bloody hammer and gloves were found in a trash can near Von Hoffman's body.

Investigators found the trash can and other items inside the trailer where Von Hoffman had recently been purchased at Home Depot.

Surveillance video showed Adams and another person buying trash cans, paint, plastic, gloves and more on the morning of Von Hoffman's murder, investigators said.

Tests showed Adams' DNA was inside the gloves and on the hammer.

Phone and Facebook records show that Adams and the other person had reached out to Von Hoffman, telling him to come over that day, investigators said.

After the Ellis County Sheriff's Office obtained a warrant for Adams' arrest, he went on the run, making stops in San Marcos and Fort Worth before he was finally caught in Houston.

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While he was on the run, investigators say that he called dispatch multiple times confessing to the crime.

Adams also posted on Facebook claiming Von Hoffman hurt a child, which Ellis County investigators determined was not true.

He later changed his story multiple times, once saying the South American cartel had killed Von Hoffman and had Adams move the body.

Later, Adams sent a letter to Ellis County and the District Attorney's Office in which he admitted to killing Von Hoffman saying he "worships death" and that he carries out "rites and rituals of Satanic worship, including blood sacrifices," the DA's office said.

The District Attorney's Office also said investigators learned Adams believed Von Hoffman had a sexual encounter with his girlfriend.

"This was an extraordinarily brutal crime," said Ellis County District Attorney Ann Montgomery in a statement. "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."