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.