It has been three months since 76-year-old Hoover Simmons was found dead in his Pike County home. Pike County authorities have charged the man they believe is responsible with capital murder.
The indictment of Steve Debose took place Monday morning in a special grand jury session and Sheriff Russell Thomas says he hopes this will start to bring closure to the victim's family and the community.
The gruesome crime scene was discovered on February 22nd.
Family members found Hoover Simmons in his kitchen, lying in a pool of his own blood, badly beaten and strangled to death.
It was the first crime of this kind in Pike County since 2001.
Pike County Sheriff Russell Thomas said, "A 76-year-old man living alone, brutally murdered in his home is very frightening, not only for our senior citizens, but for our children who get off busses in the afternoon; for those parents who worry about those children and worry about themselves."
Therefore, the indictment of 41-year-old Steve Debose is good news, especially since it came so soon after the murder.
Authorities say the analysis of blood samples, clothing and other evidence was expedited by the state forensic science lab, a process that would normally take from nine to 18-months.
Sheriff Thomas said, "Our suspect is a former resident of Los Angeles, California. So it was imperative that we work this case in a very rapid manner."
The case will be assigned to a circuit judge for a trial by jury.
Gary McAliley, 12th Circuit District Attorney said, "We, the prosecution and the state, will be asking for the death sentence in this case. It's a capital case and we feel that we have the evidence necessary to present a capital case."
There is no word yet on when the trial will take place. The time frame from will be determined by the assigned judge.
Since it will be a capital murder trial, there could be two phases of decision-making.
The first will determine whether or not Debose is guilty, or convicted. If so, jurors will recommend a sentence of either life in prison or death.
Debose is currently being held in the Pike County Jail.