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Hoak murder trial begins for second time in Jefferson County

November 07, 2007|By DAVE McMILLION

CHARLES TOWN, W.Va. - After a mistrial in 2005 and several postponements of a second trial, a murder trial for Raymond Hoak got under way Tuesday in Jefferson County Circuit Court.

Attorneys in the case laid out the details of the early-morning hours of Feb. 9, 2003, when Larry G. Hose, 29, of Kearneysville, W.Va., was shot to death outside Images nightclub along W.Va. 51 near Middleway, W.Va.

The first trial for Hoak, who was indicted on a first-degree murder charge, ended in a mistrial after jurors could not reach a verdict.

Hose's girlfriend testified previously about an affair Hoak had with Hose's former wife and that there was an "old rift" between the men.

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Assistant Jefferson County Prosecuting Attorney Larry Crofford told jurors Tuesday during opening statements that Hoak went to Images the night Hose was killed and had words with Hose inside.

Crofford said a bouncer in the bar feared there was potential for trouble and the bouncer put his arms around Hoak's waist and said, "Come on, we don't want any trouble here."

When Hose and his girlfriend left the bar, there was a white car parked beside the car they arrived in and Hoak climbed out of the white vehicle, Crofford said.

Hoak made a comment to the effect of "do you want to settle it here" and Hose took off his coat and threw it on top of a car, Crofford said.

Hoak, 31, of Kearneysville, pulled a knife and later a loaded .357 magnum handgun, Crofford said.

Hose put his arms up and stated, "Someone call the police, Ray's got a gun," Crofford said.

Hose was shot in the chest, "never to rise again," Crofford said.

According to Crofford and court documents, Hoak was found at a house off Hite Road and he raised his hands in the air and stated, "I did it."

As stated previously by another attorney who represented Hoak, Hoak's attorney Paul Taylor said Tuesday that the case boils down to an act of self-defense and said Hose was known to be "aggressive, confrontational and short-tempered."

Crofford said Hose had OxyContin in his body and traces of marijuana in his urine, substances that are considered "downers" and mood-relaxing drugs.

If that was the case, Taylor asked why Hose took off his coat and throw it on a car before the final confrontation with Hoak in the Images parking lot.

"These are things you will have to weigh and sort out," Taylor told jurors in opening statements.

After being seated in the case and hearing opening statements, jurors were taken by bus to the bar to get a feel for the layout of the property.

Testimony is scheduled to resume today at 9 a.m.

Attorneys in the case said the trial will probably last at least until next week.

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