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Public defender might represent man charged in city woman's slaying

April 07, 2010|By DON AINES and JENNIFER FITCH
  • This photo of Kristy Dawn Hoke was taken several years ago. The body of Hoke, 29, of Hagerstown was found April 6, 2010, in a wooded area off East Ninth Street in Waynesboro, Pa.
Photo courtesy of Beverly Durboraw, Kristy Hoke's mother,

WAYNESBORO, Pa. -- Franklin County (Pa.) Public Defender Michael Toms said Wednesday his office might represent Jeffrey Eldon Miles Sr., the 46-year-old State Line, Pa., man charged with criminal homicide in the death of a woman whose body was found Tuesday in a wooded area off East Ninth Street in Waynesboro, Pa.

Toms said his office would petition the court to represent Miles.

Miles is charged with killing Kristy Dawn Hoke, 29, of Hagerstown, whose family reported her missing on Easter Sunday, according to police and court documents.

Hoke's body was found at about 6:30 a.m. Tuesday near the intersection of East Ninth Street and Clayton Avenue. Police said she appeared to have been stabbed.

About four hours earlier, police were called to the State Line Road bridge over I-81 in Antrim Township, Pa., when Miles threatened to jump off the structure, police said in a news release. He was taken into custody afterward.

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Miles told police he was committing suicide because of "the evil and demons inside of him," Pennsylvania State Police Trooper D.J. Rush wrote in charging documents.

Toms said that considering the circumstances under which Miles was taken into custody, a mental health evaluation would be appropriate.

Miles confessed to killing Hoke and told troopers where to find her body when he was interviewed in custody, Rush wrote in an affidavit of probable cause.

Hoke had multiple stab wounds to her neck and torso, and her wallet was found nearby, the affidavit said.

The affidavit said Miles led police to a separate, unspecified location "miles away" where Hoke's silver Chrysler Sebring convertible was found. Rush said in the affidavit that Miles talked to someone on Easter about helping him dispose of a female's body and other evidence, including the car.

That person contacted police, and a second individual shared "specific knowledge" with authorities that Miles had killed a woman, the affidavit states. While the second individual was being interviewed Tuesday, he received a phone call indicating that Miles was on the State Line Road bridge threatening suicide, according to the affidavit.

Authorities said they did not know the nature of the relationship between Miles and Hoke.

Coroner Jeffrey R. Conner led a search for evidence in the wooded area of Waynesboro where the body was found, beginning at about 6:30 p.m. Tuesday. Forty-five firefighters and emergency medical technicians from South Mountain, Waynesboro, Blue Ridge Summit, Mont Alto, Greencastle, Marion and New Franklin formed a line to walk through the woods.

They were searching for a specific piece of evidence and found it in just a few minutes, Conner said. He would not identify the evidence.

Conner said autopsy results would be released by the state police. Waynesboro Police Chief Mark King on Tuesday would not say what role his department played in the investigation because state police asked him not to speak to the media.

Miles' preliminary hearing was scheduled for April 14. He is being held in the Franklin County Jail without bail.

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