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Suspect in student's DUI death had previous conviction for drug trafficking

By Jerry Olenyn, jolenyn@krcrtv.com
Kelli Saam
Published On: Dec 24 2013 07:37:22 AM CST
Updated On: Sep 25 2013 06:24:21 PM CDT
Riley Hoover mugshot photo

Riley Hoover

CHICO, Calif. -

KRCR News Channel 7 is uncovering new information about the 19-year-old man accused in the drunk driving death of a Chico State nursing student. 

Riley Dean Hoover, 19, made his first court appearance Wednesday afternoon on charges related to the death of Kristina Chesterman, a 21-year-old Chico State senior from Livermore in Alameda County. 

Hoover is from Hudson, Ohio.  He faces charges in Butte County related to the Sunday accident that left Chesterman dead. 

The charges including vehicular manslaughter, leaving the scene in which death happened, and a health and safety code violation.  If convicted of the charges he could face 10 years in prison.  Hoover is being represented by attorney Bob Marshall. 

At Wednesday’s court appearance he did not enter a plea. Prosecutors asked Judge Tamara Mosbarger to set bail at $500,000.

Hoover was convicted in 2012 on drug trafficking charges in Cleveland, Ohio.  In Chico he had been living in an apartment on Nord Avenue.  The area is close to Chico State and many students live in the area.  But Hoover was not a student at either Chico State or Butte College.

KRCR News Channel 7 spoke to seven people who know Hoover, but none of them wanted to speak about Hoover on camera.  One remembered him as a “troublemaker who carried around a big bong.”  Others recalled said he’s a really good guy “who made a terrible mistake.”

On the night of Sunday, September 22 police said Hoover struck Chesterman as she was riding her bicycle home from the library.  The collision happened on Nord Avenue around 11 p.m.  Police said Hoover left the scene and drove to his apartment parking lot at 730 Nord Avenue, hitting two parked cars.

Chico Police Sergeant George Laver said someone at the apartment complex escorted Hoover from his car to his apartment where officers found Hoover passed out in a living room chair.  Police said in Hoover’s car they found a significant amount of hash that was packed to be shipped.

Butte County District Attorney said based upon Hoover's blood alcohol level measured well after the crash, he estimates Hoover's BAC may  have been as high as .30 at the time of the crash.

Hoover was arrested and booked into jail.  Chesterman lay in a coma at Enloe Medical Center until she was pronounced  brain dead Tuesday afternoon.

Hoover will enter a plea at his next court appearance next Wednesday, October 2.

The flag at Chico State was lowered to half staff Wednesday in memory of Kristina Chesterman.