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Grand jury to hear case of Wilson County grandfather charged in killing

By Caitlin Rickard crickard@lebanondemocrat.com • Updated May 28, 2014 at 9:57 PM

The case of a grandfather charged with killing his grandson and injuring his grandson’s girlfriend will proceed to a grand jury.

James Frances Hoover, 77, of Lebanon, was previously arraigned and charged with criminal homicide and attempted criminal homicide for allegedly fatally shooting his grandson, James Chase Hoover, 31, and wounding Chase Hoover’s girlfriend, Crystal Colyer, 31, during an incident May 7 at 3330 Chicken Road in Lebanon. 

On Wednesday, Frances Hoover appeared in court in front of Judge Robert Hamilton for a preliminary hearing to allow Hamilton to hear witness testimony and evidence in order to decide whether there is enough evidence to move forward to a grand jury. 

“We’re here for the most serious of all matters, the taking of a life,” Hamilton said.

Colyer then took the stand to give her account of the incident as attorneys for both the state and the defense questioned her, inquiring about background information leading up to the May 7 incident, as well as her account as a victim and witness from that day.

Colyer said she was shot in the hip and also received several stitches and staples on her head from a hatchet wound sustained during an altercation with Frances Hoover, whom she said she and Chase Hoover referred to as “Papa.”

After more than an hour of emotional testimony by Colyer, along with questions from both sides, Hamilton said he felt there was enough probable cause to move forward to a grand jury.

The next court date for Frances Hoover is Aug. 11 at 1 p.m.

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