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Jefferson County murder trial is delayed

December 14, 2004|by DAVE McMILLION

charlestown@herald-mail.com

CHARLES TOWN, W.Va. - A trial for a Kearneysville, W.Va., man charged in the shooting death of another man outside the Images nightclub last year was postponed for the fourth time Monday when a prosecutor said she has a new witness in the case.

Jefferson County Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Gina Groh declined to go into detail, other than to say that the witness may have information related to the case.

The trial for Raymond E. Hoak of Route 3 had to be postponed to give Hoak's attorney, Kevin Mills, time to investigate the circumstances surrounding the witness, Groh said.

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Jefferson County Circuit Court Judge Thomas W. Steptoe Jr. agreed to postpone the trial, which was to begin today, Groh said.

It is possible a new trial date may be determined Monday, Groh said.

The shooting outside the Images club in the early morning hours of Feb. 9, 2003, occurred after Hoak and Larry G. Hose, 29, of Kearneysville, got into an argument inside the bar, police said.

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

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

Hoak was indicted by a grand jury on a charge of first-degree murder.

In July, another prosecutor working on the case said Hoak's trial had to be postponed because some issues involving the discovery process had not been resolved.

The discovery process allows lawyers in the case to examine the evidence from both sides.

In February, a trial date was moved back to allow lawyers in the case more time to work on discovery issues.

The trial date was moved from March 9 to June 8. The trial had to be moved back to Aug. 24 because evidence had not been returned from a West Virginia State Police lab.

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