By Nick Dobis, News Web/Social Media Producer
The Butte County District Attorney’s Office has amended their charges against Riley Hoover, the 19-year-old being held for the fatal DUI hit and run incident the evening of Sunday, September 22 in Chico.
Hoover was originally charged with felony manslaughter because the DUI collision resulted in 21-year-old Kristina Chesterman’s death. Those charges have been dropped and the DA is now pursuing charges of driving under the influence causing injury plus the enhancement of causing great bodily injury as a result of Chesterman’s subsequent coma. District Attorney Mike Ramsey told Action News Now this afternoon they amended the charges in order to bring a longer sentence if Hoover is convicted.
According to Ramsey, the amended charges carry a maximum sentence of 12 years, with Hoover being eligible for parole in 10 years and two months. The former charges brought against him would have carried a maximum sentence of nine years with the possibility of parole in four and a half years. Ramsey stated the amended charges are based on “unique” and “counterintuitive” legal theory.
Because the charges were amended this morning, Judge James Reilley granted the defense’s motion to continue the arraignment until next Wednesday for Hoover to enter a plea.
On the evening of September 22, Chico Police officers responded to the scene of a major hit and run incident on Nord Avenue in Chico just after 11 p.m. Upon arrival, officers found Chesterman had suffered critical injuries after being struck by a car on her bicycle and dragged nearly 100 yards down the road. Chesterman remained in critical condition until doctors pronounced her brain dead on September 24. She was a senior nursing student at Chico State.
Hoover was arrested soon after the incident that evening at his apartment at 730 Nord Ave after officers found he had collided with a parked vehicle in the parking lot.
Ramsey previously stated after Hoover’s court appearance last week Hoover’s blood alcohol content was 0.10 ten hours after he was arrested and could have been as high as 0.30 at the time of the collision.