County prosecutors explain charge in Aston case, mother reacts - Fox 28: South Bend, Elkhart IN News, Weather, Sports

County prosecutors explain charge in Aston case, mother reacts

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Posted by: Nadia Crow

Prosecutors say justice was served.  Shelly Aston was on hand today as they spelled out the case against Hoover.

"I was so distraught.  I was so overwhelmed.  I couldn't believe it.  Am I hearing that right?" asked mother Shelly Aston.

56 year old Leroy Hoover will serve at the most 10 days in county jail or just 5 with good behavior after running over and killing Shelly Aston's daughters with his car.

"They were the only two children I had. I'll never have anymore,” said Aston. 

The St. Joseph County Fatal Alcohol Crash Team tried to explain why Hoover wasn't charged with a felony.  First, there's the issue of speed.  Witnesses reported that Hoover was speeding in a 30 miles per hour speed limit zone.  But investigators say crime scene evidence disagrees. 

"The vehicle's speed at impact was between 27 and 32 miles per hour," said Deputy Prosecutor Eric Tamashasky.

And Deputy Prosecutor Eric Tamashasky says that out of the seven witnesses there were three sets of conflicting stories. 

"Three people say girls enter intersection.  No corner, three people say girls entered the intersection at the northwest corner.  Three people say the girls entered at the southwest corner and another person who says the girls entered the intersection at the southeast corner,” said Tamashasky. 

Lastly, Hoover's toxicology reports found marijuana metabolite in his system. 

"The metabolite itself has no influence on a person's decision making on their reflexes on their eye sight,” said Tamashasky. 

Tamashasky says driving almost the speed limit, unreliable witnesses, and not being under the influence means that Hoover could not be charged with a felony murder, DUI, or reckless homicide; only with a misdemeanor.

"It's my opinion justice was served.  Justice is taking the facts applying them to the law and getting the correct result," said County Prosecutor Michael Dvorak. 

But for Aston, this explanation doesn't erase the pain and loneliness she says she'll feel for the rest of her days. 

"All those facts and figures didn't mean a thing to me.  Still disgusted; totally disgusted,” said Aston. 

Shelly Aston says now she'll work on keeping her daughters' memories alive.  She says she'll work with Representative Jackie Walorski to fix what she calls loop holes in the Indiana State Code.  And she says she hopes to work with Mishawaka Mayor Jeff Rea to build a park in her daughters' names 

Aston says she is pursuing a civil lawsuit against Hoover.  That case is pending.

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