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Witness says accused, victim had 'old rift'

The girlfriend of a man shot to death outside a W.Va. nightclub says the accused had an affair with the victim's former wife.

The girlfriend of a man shot to death outside a W.Va. nightclub says the accused had an affair with the victim's former wife.

March 07, 2003|by DAVE McMILLION

charlestown@herald-mail.com

A Kearneysville, W.Va., man charged in the shooting death of a man outside the Images night club last month had an affair with the victim's former wife and there had been an "old rift" between the men, according to court testimony Thursday afternoon.

The testimony came during a preliminary hearing in Jefferson County Magistrate Court for Raymond E. Hoak, who is charged with first-degree murder in the death of Larry G. Hose, 29, of Kearneysville.

Magistrate William Senseney ruled there was probable cause to send the case on to Jefferson County Circuit Court.

The shooting outside the Images club in the early morning hours of Feb. 9 occurred after Hoak, 26, of Route 3, and Hose became involved in an argument inside the bar, police said.

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Police said the dispute continued outside the bar, which is west of the intersection of W.Va. 51 and W.Va. 480.

Witnesses saw Hoak fire a single shot, striking Hose in the chest, said a criminal complaint in Jefferson County Magistrate Court.

Virginia Johnson, Hose's girlfriend, was with Hose when he was shot and testified during Thursday's hearing.

The only other person to testify was Doug Pittinger, a part-time state medical examiner, who testified about the nature of Hose's fatal wound.

Kevin Mills, Hoak's attorney, asked Johnson if she was aware Hoak had an affair with Hose's former wife.

Johnson said she was aware of the relationship and testified there had been an "old rift" between Hose and Hoak.

The night of the shooting, Johnson said she and Hose went to Wal-Mart and then went to Images, arriving after midnight.

Hose drank about five beers, Johnson said. Hoak later approached Johnson and Hose at the bar, Johnson said.

"They were both (saying), 'Do you want to go outside? Do you want to go outside?' There were people around trying to defuse the situation," Johnson said.

Hoak later said he was "willing to forget it" and the men separated, Johnson testified.

Johnson said she and Hose later left the bar.

Outside, the couple saw Hoak, who asked Hose if he wanted to "finish this," Johnson testified.

Hoak pulled a knife and took a swing at Hose, Johnson said.

"It looked like a switchblade to me," Johnson said.

Hose jumped back, Johnson said.

"Hey, hold up man," Johnson quoted Hose as saying.

Hoak pulled up his shirt and took a gun out of his waistband, Johnson said.

Hose, standing about seven feet from Hoak, put his hands up, said Johnson, who broke into tears at one point on the stand.

"Somebody call the cops," Johnson quoted Hose as saying.

Witnesses saw Hoak fire a single shot, striking Hose in the chest, according to a criminal complaint in magistrate court.

Mills, who said he plans to pursue a self-defense strategy in the case, posed questions to Johnson about Hose's character.

"Is it fair to say he has a quick temper?" asked Mills.

"Yes sir," Johnson responded.

Johnson said she witnessed Hose getting into verbal altercations and threatening people.

After the hearing, Mills said Hoak had the affair with Hose's former wife about two years ago.

Johnson testified she had been dating Hose for about one and a half years.

Following the shooting at Images, authorities were told that the suspect was last seen traveling east on W.Va. 51 in what appeared to be a white Dodge Intrepid, the complaint said.

Authorities later took Hoak into custody at a house off Hite Road, according to the complaint.

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