Neighbors, friends react to court appearance for man who hit and killed two Mishawaka sisters - Fox 28: South Bend, Elkhart IN News, Weather, Sports

Neighbors, friends react to court appearance for man who hit and killed two Mishawaka sisters

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56 year old Leroy Hoover pleaded guilty today to a misdemeanor charge for having traces of marijuana in his system at the time of the accident.  Police say Hoover hit 4-year-old Shayla Aston and 6- year-old Shianna Aston with his car back in May. No cameras are allowed inside courtrooms in the state of Indiana.  In published reports, witnesses say Shelly Aston looked at Hoover and said, "He's the man who killed my kids."  And Hoover replied, "You should have been watching them."  That exchange brought out a lot of emotion from people on both sides of this tragedy.

Police say 56 year old Leroy Hoover hit and killed two Mishawaka girls with his car in May.

"I don't think he thinks he did anything wrong and from seeing his past record that's been put in the media he obviously has issues," said Neighbor Adrian Gard.

But Thursday he plead guilty to a misdemeanor charge.  FOX 28 knocked on Hoover's door for about 10-15 minutes.  He promptly called the Mishawaka Police Department who escorted us from his residence.  Hoover's public defender Timothy Walsh also declined to comment on the case.  Hoover family friend Kirsi Shultz says silence from Hoover is normal.

"He hasn't talked to hardly anybody.  I think he feels bad about it," said Hoover Family Friend Kirsi Shultz.

But Hoover did speak out in court.  In a heated exchange in the courthouse, in published reports, witnesses say the victims mother Shelly Aston pointed out Hoover as a killer.  Hoover fired back, "You should have been watching them."  The blame game sparked a heated debate.

"The mother wasn't even around when it happened and he said she was inside sleeping or something.  There should have been more watching of the kids," said Shultz.     

But after Aston buried her only two children, neighbor Adrian Gard says that Hoover's comment was unnecessary.

"I don't think that that's a reason to make her feel worse about what happened.  She has to live with that every single day," said Gard.

If convicted, Hoover could face up to 60 days in jail.  The victims' mother, Shelly Aston, is working with her attorney to possibly file a civil lawsuit against Hoover.

Reporter: Nadia Crow

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