Courier file photo

OTTUMWA — A Davis County woman accused by prosecutors of neglect and child endangerment has waived her right to a jury trial.

Kendra Hoover faces seven counts of neglect or abandonment of a dependent person and seven counts of child endangerment. Prosecutors filed the charges in February 2019. They stemmed from a federal child abuse case against Steven Crook Jr. that began with a tip from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.

That tip led investigators to a video of Crook having sex with a child. Hoover admitted to investigators that she had seen the video but said she believed it was a single incident and did not report it to authorities.

Investigators said Hoover left the victim with Crook multiple times even after seeing the video, leading to “at least seven … more occasions” on which the girl was sexually abused. In June 2019 a federal judge sentenced Crook to 120 years in prison.

Both the federal and state constitutions guarantee defendants the right to be tried before a jury, but that is not a requirement. While rare, defendants in some complex or emotionally charged cases do occasionally opt to be tried by a judge alone in what is called a bench trial.

The child endangerment charges are Class B felonies, while the neglect charges are Class C felonies. They carry a collective maximum potential of 245 years in prison.

In other area cases:

• Public defenders have been appointed to represent Joseph Ward and Brandi Terrebonne, who were charged with conspiracy to manufacture methamphetamine and child endangerment.

• Jordan Shewry received a five-year prison sentence with credit for time served after pleading guilty to one count of delivering marijuana.

• Nicholas Short’s trial on charges of methamphetamine trafficking will likely be delayed. Both sides in the case asked the judge to continue proceedings.

Matt Milner can be reached at and followed on Twitter @mwmilner


Managing Editor

Matt Milner currently serves as the Courier's Managing Editor. Milner is a trained weather spotter and is usually outside if there are storms. He joined the Courier in 2002.

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