A preliminary hearing found there was enough evidence to send Riley Hoover to trial for allegedly hitting and killing a Chico State student while drunk driving.
21-year-old Kristina Chesterman was on her way home from Chico State on her bike when investigators say 19-year-old Riley Hoover hit her with an SUV and drove off on Sept. 22.
Kristina’s parents, Sandra and David Chesterman, brought her remains to the Butte County Courthouse along with some of Kristina’s closest friends.
“We didn't know many of the details up until this point, so sitting on the hearing and just finding out what was said is shocking,” said Kristina’s friend, Kayla Kreich.
Investigators said Hoover had a blood alcohol content of .30 while driving a GMC sport utility vehicle.
Prosecutors called to the stand a handful of Chico police officers and senior criminalists from the Department of Justice.
Chico police officer Matt Nowicki testified that he found Hoover passed out in a recliner in his apartment minutes after the accident.
Nowicki said Hoover reeked of booze and it was difficult to wake him up. The defense argued that officers didn’t have a warrant to enter Hoover’s apartment.
Officers testified they found a US Postal box in the back seat filled with over a 100 packages of butane honey oil inside and also discovered .40 caliber bullets as well.
The prosecution then called senior criminalist Kirsten Wallace from the Department of Justice. She said that fibers were found on the grill and right head light on the SUV.
Wallace said the fibers could have matched the clothes Chesterman was wearing that night; one in particular a peach-colored sweatshirt.
“I know exactly what sweatshirt they are talking about because I saw her wearing it in class. I think so far that's been the hardest,” said Kristina’s classmate, Rachel Mehr.
Hoover will be back in court on March 19.