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Defense rests in murder trial

November 15, 2007|By DAVE McMILLION

CHARLES TOWN, W.Va. - The defense finished its case in Raymond Hoak's murder trial in Jefferson County Circuit Court on Wednesday and court officials said it is possible closing arguments could be heard in the case today.

Rebuttal witnesses from the state are expected to be heard this morning.

After Wednesday's testimony, defemse attorney Paul Taylor said he does not believe Hoak will testify.

Taylor continued to call witnesses Wednesday, including Larry Dehus, a forensic science expert who testified that the bullet that struck victim Larry Hose in the chest traveled in a downward path.

That led Dehus to believe that Hose, 29, of Kearneysville, W.Va., was leaning forward when he was shot.

Hoak, 31, also of Kearneysville, has maintained that he acted in self-defense when Hose was shot.

Under cross-examination by Assistant Jefferson County Prosecutor Larry Crofford, Dehus testified that he never has performed an autopsy nor did he have a degree in forensic science.

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Hoak told police that he had a long-running feud with Hose over Hoak's affair with Hose's former wife, according to previous testimony in the trial.

On Tuesday, a friend of Hoak's said he had been around Hose when Hose made between six and 10 death threats against Hoak.

Defense witness Dale Gladden also testified Tuesday that he was working at a Domino's pizza shop in Berkeley County when he observed Hose making threats against another employee at the shop.

The employee had become friends with Hose's wife, Gladden testified.

Gladden said Hose showed up one day at the pizza shop and said, "I'll kill him. I know he's in there."

The first trial for Hoak in 2005 ended in a mistrial when a jury could not reach a verdict.

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

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