Steven Alexander Hobbs charged with 2 murders in the deaths of Sarah Sanford and Patricia Pyatt

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) – A serial killer suspect is finally on trial after more than a decade in the Harris County jail.

Steven Alexander Hobbs, 51, has lived at the Harris County Jail in the maximum security unit for over 10 years.

The Harris County Sheriff’s Office said his stay was generally volatile. Although, his stay was phenomenal.

“I’ve been doing this for 30 years. I haven’t seen anyone in over a decade,” said Andy Kahan, Crime Stoppers’ Director of Victim Services.

Hobbs is Harris County’s longest serving current inmate. He has been jailed and is awaiting trial since his arrest in 2011.

In October 2011, HCSO investigators announced the arrest during a press conference and then dropped the bomb that they suspected he was a serial killer.

“Steven Hobbs was once a predator. He’s been a predator for at least a decade. So now, we’re looking at everything just to see if he’s the right fit. no,” Lieutenant Rolf Nelson of the HCSO Killer Unit explained in 2011.

Hobbs was charged with two murders that were part of the deaths of Sarah Sanford and Patricia Pyatt. He is also a suspect in Wanda Trambley’s death. Hobbs was charged with two counts of rape, one kidnapping and two more aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. Investigators have always believed there were more victims.

“The number of dead victims, I have no way of knowing at this point. The number of survivors, I really can’t guess,” the prosecutor said.

Deputies said Hobbs, a security guard assigned to carry a gun, hunted sex workers at Crosby, Highland and Barrett Stations in parts of eastern Harris County. They say he used a gun, a baton, handcuffs, and his towering height and weight to attack.

Investigators believe the married father of two prostitutes was targeted because they were hesitant to go to the police.

Trombley’s body was found in September 2011 along Red Bluff Road. Sanford’s body was found naked and handcuffed in 2010 in a wooded area five miles from Hobbs’ Crosby’s home. Pyatt, a mother of five, was found strangled in 2002 along the banks of the San Jacinto River. Investigators say DNA links Hobbs to Pyatt and Sanford’s murders.

The surviving victims have identified him.

“This guy thought no one was going to catch him,” Harris County Sheriff Adrian Garcia at the time said.

Hobbs was put on trial in 2015, but a new DNA test put a hold on that. As the case prepared to continue, Hurricane Harvey closed the courthouse for years, and the COVID-19 pandemic added to the delays.

“It’s finally time for this to happen,” Kahan said.

The Harris County District Attorney’s office is moving at a brisk pace in the Sanford case, filing several petitions this week. A pre-trial hearing on Hobbs’ admission of claims is scheduled for April 6. The trial is set for May. Prosecutors declined a request for an interview to be rigorously selected by the jury.

Responding to the label “serial killer,” said Mandy Miller, one of the three defense attorneys, “The defense team is eager to see what evidence the State has to support such a claim.”

Hobbs spent his time in the prison’s law library and occasionally corresponded with the court.

After more than 10 years, he may soon be out of the Harris County jail.

Kahan sympathizes with the victims and their families.

“It’s really heartbreaking to have to wait this long and I hope, finally, maybe in 2022, we’ll get a result and get this thing resolved one way or another,” Kahan said.

For more on this story, follow Jessica Willey on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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