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Hoak gets six years for shooting death of W.Va. man

January 25, 2008|By DAVE McMILLION

CHARLES TOWN, W.Va. - Raymond Hoak was sentenced Thursday to six years in prison after being convicted in November of voluntary manslaughter in the shooting death of Larry Hose.

Hoak will not be eligible for parole until after three years.

Presiding 23rd Judicial Circuit Judge Thomas W. Steptoe Jr. handed down the sentence following a lengthy hearing in Jefferson County Circuit Court that also dealt with a juror note that contained information jurors are not to consider.

The sentence capped off an unusual case that stretched over nearly five years and went through one mistrial.

Hoak and Hose's mother spoke at Thursday's hearing.

Hoak apologized to Hose's family over the incident while Hose's mother - Mary Jacques - stewed over how the death of her son has affected her and her family.

When asked what sentence Jacques believed Hoak should receive, she said "The most he can get. I prefer life. He took my son away from me for life."


Jacques said she has had to give up her home and moved away from the area because of her son's death.

"My life has been hell since then," Jacques told Steptoe.

Steptoe had the choice of a prison sentence of three to 15 years for Hoak.

Hoak told Steptoe that the situation following Hose's death had been difficult for him, especially in how he was able to function with his family.

"It's been a long, tough road," Hoak said.

According to testimony, a long-running feud existed between Hoak and Hose, 29, both of Kearneysville.

Hoak at one time had an affair with Hose's former wife and there had been statements in the case that Hose once tried to burn down Hoak's house by tossing a Molotov cocktail at it.

There were also statements in the case that Hose was familiar with the layout of Hoak's home.

As a result, Hoak hung quilts over the windows in his home, according to statements.

Tensions came to a head Feb. 9, 2003, when Hoak and Hose met outside Images nightclub near Middleway, W.Va.

Hose was shot once in the chest and Hoak was seen getting into a car after the shooting and was later found by police at a house off Hite Road, according to testimony.

Hoak said he acted in self-defense when Hose was shot, but Jefferson County Prosecuting Attorney Larry Crofford had emphasized to jurors that Hoak had three opportunities at the bar the night of the shooting to avoid a confrontation with Hose.

In pronouncing his sentence to Hoak, Steptoe noted how Hoak turned his head when Hose was shot and Steptoe said he believed Hoak acted more out of fear than malice.

Steptoe said the case was "quite unusual" and had a "history of its own."

Hoak's first trial in 2005 ended in a mistrial after a jury could not reach a verdict.

After Hoak was convicted Nov. 20, a bailiff found a white piece of paper in Steptoe's courtroom.

The paper contained notes from a juror and the notes referred to penalties for possible verdicts, which jurors are not supposed to have.

A hearing was held later on the note and the juror who had the note, Mary Mauck, said the note was just for her and was not shared with other jurors.

Other jurors said they remembered conversations about sentences when they were deliberating on a verdict, although one juror testified the conversations were not substantial.

A 12th juror testified on the issue Thursday and said the note was not read to him and there were no discussions among jurors about it.

Defense attorney Paul Taylor said Thursday he believes Hoak should be granted a new trial because of the note, but Steptoe said the conduct pales in comparison to some jury misconduct in other cases.

Hoak was to begin serving his sentence Thursday in the Eastern Regional Jail in Martinsburg. Steptoe gave Hoak 24 days credit for jail time he had already served.

Taylor said he will consult with Hoak's family about a possible appeal.

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