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UPDATE: Radabaugh Found Guilty; Jury Reccommends Mercy

By: WTAP News Email
By: WTAP News Email

Update 8/17/2012 5:45 P.M.

Life in prison is the sentence for a man found guilty last summer in the 2010 death of Rebecca Hoyler.

Judge Jeff Reed sentenced Brent Radabaugh Monday, but said he couldn't reverse a recommendation for mercy the jury made when it convicted him.

The sentence came after members of Hoyler's family addressed her convicted killer.

"Mr. Radabaugh did more than end a life in this case. He took away a mother, a grandmother, a great woman," said Scotty Wilkinson, whose, wife is Hoyler's daughter. "She had her problems, but when you were around Becky, she changed you. You remembered her from the moment you saw her, until the end of your life."

The mercy determination means that in 15 years, a state board could decide whether Radabaugh can receive parole.

The judge denied a motion from Radabaugh's attorney for a new trial.

Update 8/17/2012 4:50 P.M.

The jury finds Brent Radabaugh guilty of killing Rebecca Hoyler-but it also had to decide whether he could be eligible for parole.

The jury reached the guilty verdict shortly before noon Friday.

Then, late in the afternoon, it made the mercy reccommendation.

The latter decision came after hearing often emotional testimony from members of Radabaugh's family, who discusssed his family life and his history of drug abuse.

Prosecutors, meantime, noted he had a long criminal record, which included three felony convictions; one of them for domestic battery.

The reccommendation means that in 15 years, a state board could decide whether Radabaugh can receive parole.

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Update 8/17/2012 11:45 A.M.

A Wood County jury finds Brent Radabaugh guilty of first degree murder.
The jury will come back this afternoon to decide whether Radabaugh should receive mercy.

Update 08/17/2012 11:17 A.M.



Update 08/15/2012 5:17 P.M.

The jury in the Brent Radabaugh murder trial discussed the case for approximately four hours Wednesday, without reaching a verdict.

It received the case late Wednesday morning, after hearing closing arguements from prosecution and defense attorneys.

Radabaugh's attorney noted testimony from the person who found Rebecca Hoyler's body late the afternoon of her death, who said he had to forcibly enter her locked home: a home where the locks had just been changed.

Would Brent Radabaugh, he suggested, have locked the home as he was leaving, or would another person, who actually killed Rebecca Hoyler, still have the keys?

The prosecutor says, however, that Radabaugh, when he left the home, was actually seen by at least two witnesses, driving Hoyler's car.

"It's more evidence he tried to distance himself, as much as possible," said Jason Wharton, Wood County Prosecuting Attorney. "How did he do that? He did it by lying to the police for as long as he possibly could."

Witnesses have said they saw Radabaugh leaving Hoyler's home as early as 1:30, and as late as 1:44 p.m. that afternoon. Either way, according to his attorney, who cited a defense expert as saying, it wouldn't have been long enough for the murder and a quick cleanup of Radabaugh and Hoyler's home to take place.

"He testified that it is virtually impossible for Brent Radabaugh, even from 1:26 to 1:44, to have committed this crime," noted George Cosenza, Defense Attorney. "Did the state produce an expert who refuted Dr. Young? They did not."

The jury deliberated for four hours, listening to recorded testimony of three trial witnesses, before quitting for the night. It resumes in the morning.

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Update 08/14/2012 5:40 P.M

Jurors heard the final witnesses Tuesday, in the murder trial of 34-year old Brent Radabaugh. That included members of Radabaugh's family.

Brent Radabaugh's sister said he had a history of suicide attempts, which included one on the afternoon Rebecca Hoyler died.

"The first time, he cut his wrists, and I picked him up at my grandmother's grave," Rachel Radabaugh recalled. "The next time, he tried to cut his wrists again.
Asked by Radabaugh's attorney, George Cosenza, if drugs involved in either of these attempts, Rachel Radabaugh responded, "Of course."

Hours before Radabaugh's mother told Rebecca Hoyler he had no money-and hours before her death-Hoyler and Radabaugh had arranged to transfer money to her account from Radabaugh's later in the week, when he was due to get his paycheck.

"She provided me information so I could send a wire transfer to her account next Friday," Cheryl McCollough, Branch Manager, Community Bank, who is also Radabaugh's aunt, "(from) Brent's checking account."

A member of the West Virginia Medical Examiner's staff, who conducted an autopsy on Hoyler, said the presence of cocaine in her body, indicated she would have been considered under the influence of the drug at the time of her death. Enough, he said, that she would have had difficulty fending off her attacker.

"It's consistent with the use of a significant amount of cocaine in the hours prior to her death," said Dr. James Kraner, Forensic Toxicologist.

Radabaugh's attorney brought up one other name in the Hoyler case. Shortly after Hoyler's death, a search warrant was authorized for a person other than Radabaugh. Jeffrey Ryan Nartin's name, however, did not appear in an affadavit accompanying that warrant.

The defense made a motion to Wood County Circuit Judge Jeff Reed to find radabaugh not guilty, saying prosecutors did not prove their case against him.

Judge Reed denied the motion.
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Update 08/13/2012 6:40 P.M.

Brent Radabaugh's mother says she had spoken to him four times from her Florida home, on the afternoon Rebecca Hoyler was believed to have died. One of those conversations was with Hoyler herself, when Maggie Newberry told her her son was broke. Another was with Radabaugh, just before 6 P.M., when she suspected he was going to take his own life. Radabaugh did try to jump from the Belpre-Parkersburg bridge.

"I knew he was going to do something, because I've dealt with it before," Newberry said. "Finally, I got a hold of my daughter, and I said, ' listen, get down to the Belpre bridge, Brent's really upset about dad, and you need to get down there'. "

Of those first three calls, two took place between 1:16 and 1:23 that afternoon. A third happened just before 1:45, just after he was seen leaving Hoyler's house. Referring to autopsy reports saying Hoyler was stabbed several times, an expert defense witness says Hoyler would have lost a lot of blood. Some of that blood, he says, more than what has been seen or explained in testimony, would have been on Radabaugh's clothing.

"Knowing the nature of blood, and the situation as it is," said Dr. Thomas Young, "this doesn't fit, it's not consistent."

Hoyler's car, said to have been driven by Radabaugh, was found on Spring street, near the home of a suspected drug dealer both Hoyler and Radabaugh had visited. In a statement to Rarkersburg police, he said Hoyler told him to leave her home. He was asked if she let him drive her car.

" Why would I kill her, and know that no one's going to find her?", Radabaugh replied. "Why wouldn't I drive the car to Belpre. Because they knew I was at Buzzy's house, So why wouldn't I drive to Belpre, and hide the car there; it's less than a walk for me."

As for his drug use, Newberry described Radabaugh's personality while under the influence as "mellow". It worsened, she said, in the times he was trying to end his habit.

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Update 08/19/2012 7:00 P.M.

A day after a former medical examiner's office employee testified Rebecca Hoyler suffered multiple stab wounds, a Parkersburg police department investigator explained why a knife found into her home was gathered as evidence, but not examined.

"This knife, in this perspective, was laying on the carpet like this," said Evidence Technician Ross Clegg. "There was a photograph which indicates there was a heavy dust cover, and there was debris laying on top of it. The case was there for some time and was not disturbed."

Both the victim and her alleged killer were linked to blood found in several locations of Hoyler's home, as well as her car, which Brent Radabaugh was seen driving the day she was killed.

"( Data from) checkbook area one, swabs from the deadbolt locks, inside the driver's side door of victim's car, rear driver's side door and door handle of victim's car, are all consistent with the DNA of Brent Radabaugh," explained Jason Hodges, who was a DNA analyst with the West Virginia State Police Crime Lab when the tests were made in 2010 and 2011.

But the DNA expert explained a probable link could not be found on the car keys. And Clegg was questioned heavily as to why blood stains in other parts of Hoyler's bedroom carpet and shelves, and items on her dresser, were not obtained for analysis.

"You can take everything, but then you would bog down the crime lab," Clegg explained.

"But when you're dealing with someone going to prison for the rest of their life," Defense Attorney George Cosenza asked, "the crime lab being bogged down isn't that big a deal?'

"I try to collect the most obvious things and the most important items," Clegg responded.

Clegg says police also took into evidence a telephone from Hoyler's apartment, but that phone was obtained two days after Hoyler's death and the police department's crime scene sweep, after her parents had taken it home with them.
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Update: 08/09/2012 7:45 P.M.

Brent Radabaugh said he had done some bad things in his life, but killing Rebecca Hoyler wasn't one of them. This was part of the statement he gave police, during the 12 hour period after her death in mid-april of 2010.

"I may have smoked crack, and I may have stolen a check or two," he says in the recording. "But I'm not capable of this...I'm not this person."

What he did tell police, was that he and Rebecca had an argument early that afternoon, at Hoyler's 16th street home. The argument began when Rebecca learned Radabaugh, who had been buying and using drugs, and had stolen money from his grandfather, had no funds.

He says he left her home, carrying a trash bag containing his clothes. that matches a witness account, but Radabaugh denies something else a second witness saw at about the same time: Radabaugh driving Hoyler's car.

Radabaugh: " I did not drive her car, and I did not do this, man."
Police: " Do what?"
Radabaugh: " You're saying I did this to Rebecca...I did not do anything. I did not kill her...you're trying to say I killed her."
Police: " How?"
Radabaugh: " I don't know."

Earlier that day, a teller at the Mountain State Heritage Credit Union says she saw Radabaugh try to cash a check on Hoyler's account for $200. She says she told him there weren't funds available to cover the amount.

"He said, 'that b---- (referring to Hoyler)'," Dolly Agiga testified. "'I should have known she didn't have it."

A forensic pathologist testified Hoyler suffered numerous stab wounds to the face, hands, chest, neck, arm and wrist. She could not say whether they were caused by a knife, or when they happened.

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Update: 08/08/2012 7:00 P.M.

The last time Rebecca Hoyler was seen alive by her acquaintances, she was with Brent Radabaugh, whom they say she had just met. But when she didn't answer her phone after several of them tried to call her, her brother, larry edwards was sent to check up on her.

"He ran out, screaming on his telephone to call the police and an ambulance," her mother, Mary Edwards, recalls, "saying something bad had happened to Rebecca."

"The neighbor lady was running at me, frantically yelling he had beat her to death," recalls a friend, Sabrina Thomas, who arrived at Hoyler's home later on April 13, 2010.

Radabaugh is charged with Hoyler's death. But his attorney, George Cosenza, says the last time Rebecca had contact with anyone, was in a phone conversation between 1:22 and 1:26 p.m. the day of her death.

Another witness says she saw Radabaugh leaving Hoyler's 16th street home between 1 and 1:30 P.M. that day, running between her house and another, carrying a black trash bag. And shortly afterward, a neighbor says he saw Radabaugh driving Hoyler's car

"He was heading up Covert, and taking a left onto 18th street," Michael Haught recalled, "heading toward St. Joseph's Hospital."

Hoyler's past substance abuse may be an issue in the trial, along with her association with an alleged drug dealer. Parkersburg police who testified say she frequented the home of Harry "Buzzy" Thornton, who was arrested late last year and indicted on several drug charges. Thornton may testify in Radabaugh's trial.

UPDATE: 08/07/2012 4:21 PM

Jury selection began Tuesday for a man accused of killing a Parkersburg woman.

Brent Radabaugh's accused of killing Rebecca Hoyler in April 2010.

Police say he stabbed Hoyler several times in her home. He's charged with first degree murder.

Radabaugh pleaded not guilty to that charge.

July selection should commence Tuesday evening. The trial begins Wednesday morning with opening testimony at 9:00 AM.
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Update: 6/08/2012 6:45 P.M.

A judge is considering motions on witness testimony...in the upcomiing trial of brent radabaugh.

Radabaugh is accused of killing Rebecca Hoyler more than two years ago in Parkersburg.

Friday, Judge Jeff Reed considered motions regarding the scheduled testimony of one witness...an inmate at the regional jail...to provide information on his past work as an informant on other cases.

In another matter...the state wants to allow the wiitness's testimony to be recorded, and played to the jury during Radabaugh's trial.

That trial is set for August seventh.

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UPDATE: 4/27/2012 12:10 PM

A 2-year-old murder case is now set for trial this summer.

Brent Radabaugh is set for trial August 7th.

He is accused of killing Rebecca Hoyler in April of 2010.

Radabaugh was arrested in September of that year and was indicted and pleaded not guilty a month later.

His trial has been rescheduled a couple times while legal matters were taken care of.

He remains in custody at the North Central Regional Jail.



UPDATE: 2/16/2012 12:19 PM

A pre-trial hearing was held Thursday for the man accused of killing a Parkersburg woman back in 2010.

Brent Radabaugh was indicted after police say he murdered Rebecca Hoyler.

The Belpre man pleaded not guilty in October of 2010 to killing the local woman in her home.

Thursday he was granted a motion to compel, meaning he requested information from the police and he will get that information.

His trial is set for April 16th, 2012.

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Updated 10/1/2010 12:06 p.m.

A Belpre man has pleaded not guilty to allegedly killing a Parkersburg woman who was found dead in her home nearly six months ago.

Brent Radabaugh was arraigned in Wood County Circuit Court Friday morning after being indicted for the murder of Rebecca Hoyler.

Radabaugh pleaded not guilty to the murder charge.

His attorney, George Cosenza, did not request bond for Radabaugh.

Cosenza said the prosecution and defense filed a motion for discovery.

The court ordered date the evidence should be provided is October 15.

Radabaugh is being held without bond at the North Central Regional Jail.

His trial is set for March 15.

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Updated 9/25/2010 9:25 p.m.

After months of waiting for DNA results, a man is behind bars as the lead suspect in a murder case.

Brent Radabaugh was in court Friday after being indicted for the murder of Rebecca Hoyler, who was stabbed to death multiple times in April.

Radabaugh has a criminal background.

The Belpre resident has been booked 16 times in the Washington County Jail for various offenses including burglary, domestic violence and parole violations.

Washington County Sheriff Larry Mincks said the 34-year-old has been a repeat offender in both counties. "You know it indicates they have recidivism rate, that after they commit a crime they are going to continue on. He lives in Belpre and they don't stop at state lines he goes back and forth across the river involved with illegal activity," said Mincks.

Parkersburg Police Chief Joe Martin declined to comment on Radabaugh's past record because he said he doesn't want to sway the jury pool.

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Updated 9/24/2010 6:51 p.m.

About five months after a Parkersburg woman's stabbing death, a Belpre man has been indicted for allegedly killing her.

Parkersburg Police Chief Joe Martin said there wasn't a lot of physical evidence at Rebecca Hoyler's 16th Street home where she was found dead after being stabbed multiple times in April.

Police have been waiting on DNA results of hair and blood from the state lab and also an independent lab to confirm the person of interest, Brent Radabaugh, was indeed a suspect.

After about five months, the man who has been a person of interest in the stabbing death of Rebecca Hoyler, Brent Radabaugh has been indicted for her murder.

Friday morning the Belpre resident was in Wood County Circuit Court to be arraigned but his arraignment was continued to give his attorney time to study the case.

"Last week during the fall session of the Wood County grand jury the defendant in this case, Mr. Radabaugh was indicted," said Chief Joe Martin.

The documents were sealed until he appeared in court Friday.

Wednesday the Washington County Sheriff's Office reportedly arrested Radabaugh at his home, he waived extradition, and Thursday officers brought him back to Wood County.

Chief Martin said based on interviews, Radabaugh and Hoyler had a relationship but if it was intimate or not, he doesn't know.
"Some of the investigation did lead us to the bank of the victim and checks were a part of that investigation and that will come out in the trial I'm sure if not before but that's part of what we believe happened or what led to the homicide itself," said Chief Martin.

After the homicide, Chief Martin said the investigation revealed Radabaugh had been in Parkersburg which violated his parole in Washington County so he was in jail for that offense for some time but was released when officers arrested him this week.

Currently Radabaugh is being held without bond at the North Central Regional Jail awaiting his arraignment next Friday.

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An arraignment for Brent Radabaugh, charged in the April 13th stabbing death of Rebecca Hoyler, has been continued to October 1st. Radabaugh's attorney, George Cosenza, tells WTAP-TV he needs time to study the case.

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An arraignment is scheduled for 10:30 Friday morning for a suspect in the April 13th stabbing death of Rebecca Hoyler.

Thirty-three-year old Brent Radabaugh had been held since April on unrelated charges in another county.


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