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'Severe malnutrition:' Tennessee parents charged with starving adult son to death


John and Jacqueline Hoover face first-degree murder charges for allegedly starving their disabled son to death (Image: HCSO){ }
John and Jacqueline Hoover face first-degree murder charges for allegedly starving their disabled son to death (Image: HCSO)
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A Hixson couple is facing first-degree murder charges for allegedly starving their disabled son to death.

An arrest affidavit we obtained says Chattanooga Police responded to the 6700 block of Ardis Lane in Hixson on June 23rd.

The affidavit says 69-year-old John D. Hoover told police that his 44-year-old son had not been eating since April and had completely stopped eating the previous four days.

The victim was taken to Memorial Hospital and after he arrived, medical staff contacted police saying the victim was suffering from severe malnutrition and dehydration, according to the affidavit.

Medical staff say it appeared to be a case of severe neglect or at worst, potential abuse.

The affidavit says the victim died at Memorial Hospital on June 29th.

Detectives who handled the investigation say the victim was "obviously emaciated and had pressure sores on his person".

According to the affidavit, detectives spoke with the victim's parents who revealed that the victim had a mental disability, and they had moved in with him to care for him after his grandmother died.

They say the victim had a mental capacity of a five year old.

According to the affidavit, the father told authorities that he and his wife Jacqueline Hoover "would withhold food from the victim to get him to shower and tied him to a bed at night to keep him from taking food".

The Hoovers told police their son was last seen by a doctor in February, and they hadn't made any appointments since to get him medical care.

The affidavit says throughout the investigation, detectives determined from the Hoovers' statements that they had "willfully and knowingly deprived the victim of dire medical attention".

Detectives believe the victim's death is a direct cause of the neglect from his parents.

Police charged Jacqueline and John D. Hoover with felony murder and aggravated neglect of a vulnerable adult.

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