No verdict yet in Hoak trial

November 16, 2007|By MATTHEW UMSTEAD

CHARLES TOWN, W.VA. ? The jury seated in Raymond E. Hoak's murder trial on Friday could not reach a verdict after about 6 1/2 hours of deliberations in Jefferson County Courthouse, and decided to break for the weekend.

Deliberations will resume Tuesday.

Hoak is accused of shooting Larry G. Hose, 29, of Kearneysville, W.Va., in the parking lot of Images nightclub along W.Va. 51 near Middleway, W.Va., in February 2003.

Indicted on a first-degree murder charge, Hoak first was tried in 2005. That trial ended when jurors could not reach a verdict after deliberating for part or all of three days.

The jury panel's foreman on Friday told presiding 23rd Judicial Circuit Judge Thomas W. Steptoe Jr. that the jury wanted to resume deliberations Tuesday at 9 a.m.


"If we don't get have a verdict by Wednesday, we may not get one," Steptoe told assistant prosecuting attorneys Larry Crofford and Ralph A. Lorenzetti and Hoak's defense counsel, Paul Taylor, after the jury was excused just before 5 p.m.

About an hour earlier, the jury asked Steptoe for clarification on the definition of malice, an element of first- and second-degree murder.

The jury also had the option of reaching a guilty verdict of voluntary manslaughter, which is defined in state code as the intentional taking of another person's life, but without deliberation, malice ? such as hate, anger or revenge ? or premeditation.

The attorneys agreed to provide the jury with an additional definition of malice, but denied a request for a dictionary.

Hose was shot once in the chest outside Images on Feb. 9, 2003, and Hoak has said he acted in self-defense when Hose was shot.

Hoak, 31, of Kearneysville, told police he was scared of Hose, and that Hose had threatened to kill him before in a long-running feud over Hoak's affair with Hose's former wife.

More than 20 people attended the proceedings on Friday in anticipation of a verdict that never came.

"I think they're taking their deliberations seriously, which is all we can hope for," Taylor said after Steptoe adjourned the proceedings.

"There's just a lot for them to think about," Crofford said.

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