By Nick Dobis, News Web/Social Media ProducerThe 19-year-old facing felony DUI, hit and run and vehicular manslaughter charges made his first appearance in a Butte County Superior Court this afternoon. He was appointed an attorney but no plea was entered and the case has been continued until Wednesday, October 2. He faces 10 years in prison if convicted.
Hoover was charged with felony hit and run and DUI charges after he was arrested Sunday evening for allegedly running over 21-year-old Kristina Chesterman on her bicycle on Nord Avenue in Chico. She was immediately transported to Enloe Medical Center in critical condition. Chesterman, a senior nursing student at Chico State, remained in critical condition until doctors pronounced her brain dead yesterday afternoon. Chesterman has since passed away and her organs harvested for donation in accordance to her wishes.
As a result of her death, an additional charge of vehicular manslaughter has been filed by the District Attorney’s Office. The Chico Police Department stated in a press release “Hoover was very intoxicated at the time and continued northbound from the collision scene without stopping to render aid to Ms. Chesterman.”
In court today, District Attorney Mike Ramsey indicated Hoover’s blood alcohol content was approximately 0.10 ten hours after the incident and estimated his BAC could have been closer to 0.30 at the time of the collision. Official blood results are expected to be completed and released soon. The legal limit for those above the age of 21 in California is 0.08 and 0.00 for those 21 and under.
Today the Chico Enterprise-Record first reported Hoover is originally from Hudson, Ohio, and his probationary period for a marijuana conviction expired today. Action News Now has further confirmed this information with online documents filed with the Cuyahoga County Clerk’s Office and a report filed by Cleveland.com. We have confirmed with Chico State and Butte College Hoover was not a student at either school. Ramsey stated this afternoon the earliest records of Hoover being in California is a Prop 215 prescription for medicinal marijuana in April of this year.
In a statement released today, the family stated: “While we would want nothing more than for this man to spend the rest of his days behind bars, as any parents would, this would still pale in comparison to the tragic death of our beautiful daughter Kristina. However understanding that life in prison is not going to happen, we would urge the courts to at least impose the most severe sentence to help minimize the chance of another family from facing a similar tragedy again. A severe punishment for this senseless crime will not only keep this drunken driver off the streets but will deter others from getting behind the wheel when intoxicated. In that way, our daughter's death will have some meaning and will further her dream of helping others and improving our world.”
Read the Chesterman Family's Complete Statement
The family’s statement also indicated Chesterman planned to spend the early years of her career as a nurse with the organization Doctors without Borders to help people in the poor and war-torn areas of the world. She then planned to work at Stanford University Hospital to help teach nursing to others.