Man arrested in 2008 western Kentucky cold case murder, enters not guilty plea


Reporter - Elizabeth Fields
Photojournalist - Mason Watkins
Web Editor - Mason Stevenson

TRIGG COUNTY, Ky. - The man accused of murdering a Trigg County, Kentucky resident in 2008 saw his case go before a judge Tuesday.

District Judge Jill Clark entered a not guilty plea for Seth Hooks during his arraingment.  She also appointed a public defender for him.

Last week, he was formally charged in the death of Harvey Choat.
Hooks will have a preliminary hearing at 10 a.m. on September 17.

The charges were filed against Hooks in early September while he was in the Daviess County, Kentucky Detention Center on unrelated charges.

Earlier story:

TRIGG COUNTY, Ky. - Charges have been filed in a western Kentucky cold case dating back to 2008.

The sheriff in Trigg County confirmed to Local 6 Thursday afternoon that Seth Hooks is in the Daviess County Detention Center in Owensboro, Kentucky.  Authorities charged Hooks, who was in jail on unrelated charges, with the murder of Harvey Choat.

Choat was found shot to death in his Trigg County home back in March of 2008.  The 64-year-old retiree lived by himself at the time.

Investigators have been on the hunt for his killer ever since.  They believe it to be Hooks.

Glenda Herndon, Choat's sister, said she was floored when Sheriff Ray Burnam came to her door and told her there had been an arrest. She said it was like a weight was lifted from her shoulders.

"I cannot bury these ashes until we find out who murdered him," she said. "I told my daughter today now we can have a little ceremony and just put the ashes in the ground and say, 'restful peace my brother.'"

She added that it brings some closure, but not complete.

"One thing I'd like to do is sit across the table from Mr Hooks and just talk to him, and the first question I would ask is 'why'?."

In addition to murder, Hooks faces drug and weapons charges along with alleged robbery, burglary, wanton endangerment crimes.

He's being held on a $1 million cash bond.