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    Posted September 17, 2009 by
    Mishawaka, Indiana

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    FIve days for Murder.


    Setting the scene:


    On a nice afternoon, two children, Shayla Aston and Shianna Aston, both sisters from Mishawaka, Indiana, were grieving the loss of their grandmother.

    Shelly Aston, their mother, let her daughters outside to go play with the other neighborhood children across the street. It's a quiet residential area not used to a lot of traffic. Many parents were outside at the time, along with other children older than Shayla and Shianna. Everyone watches out for another.

    Shelly told her children they may cross the street, but they must remember the rule of looking both ways before crossing and must hold each other’s hand.

    Tragedy struck.


    Holding Hands:


    Shayla, age 4, and her sister Shianna, age 6, were already in the middle of the intersection when Leroy Hoover, age 56, allegedly sped through the intersection failing to yield, hitting the two children. The force was so hard it knocked the shoes right off their feet.

    According to witnesses at the scene, Hoover tried to flee the scene, but not before neighbor Gregory “Alan” Knepp pulled out his gun which he had a permit to carry and said, "I jumped in front of him with my gun, threw my hand up, told him to stop, ran up in front of him and took his keys."




    BMV records show Hoover's license was suspended for leaving the scene of an accident in 1986. He was also suspended for not having insurance.

    A 1996 a South Bend Tribune article says Mishawaka police reported Hoover hit a 13-year-old boy near Carlton and Delaware Streets. The article says Hoover had a seizure while backing out of a driveway and lost control of his van.

    Another Tribune article from 1999 says Hoover was hurt when he drove over a curb and hit a telephone pole on 12th Street in Mishawaka. BMV records show Hoover was suspended for 90 days for driving without insurance when it happened.

    Police records show a fourth accident in 2005 — when Hoover allegedly backed into a gas pump at the Speedway on Lincoln Way West in Mishawaka, and left the scene.




    Two children were lying in the middle of the road. A neighbor knocked on Shelly’s door to tell her about what had just occurred. “I didn't know which one to go to first,” Shelly said sobbing, describing the scene. “I saw Shayla, her lips were blue and blood pouring out of her mouth. And they said she didn't have a pulse. Then I saw Shianna way over there and her legs were kind of flailing.” Both being critically injured, EMS rushed the girls to the ER where Shayla died of her injuries. Witnesses stated she was dragged under Hoover’s car. Seven weeks later, Shianna also succumbed to her injuries.




    Hoover was taken into police custody the day of the accident, was questioned, but immediately released. Now this small community in Indiana wants justice. On September 12, the St. Joseph County prosecutor’s office said a grand jury found Leroy Hoover should be charged with one count of operating a vehicle with a controlled substance in his body. It is a Class C misdemeanor. No charges were filed in the deaths of Shayla and Shianna.


    Now a community grieves. A community wants answeres. to find out more about the case, go to http://www.wsbt.com/news/local/59268792.html

    You can also find Shelly Aston on Facebook and MySpace.


    Please contact Prosecutor Mike Dvorack and voice your opinion about the case at 227 W. Jefferson Blvd, 10th Floor South Bend, IN 46601. Phone # (574) 235-9544, Fax # (574) 235-9761. Email: mdvorack@stjoepros.org


    Update: Leroy Hoover was sentenced to FIVE days in jail for the murder to Shayla and Shianna. Please, contact the prosecutor to express your outrage on the outcome of the case.

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