Prosecutor weighing death penalty for man accused of killing, raping Lake James woman

Crime

ANGOLA, Ind. (WANE) — The man arrested in the death of an 82-year-old Lake James woman this summer now faces additional charges, including rape.

Wilma Ball (The Ball family)

Matthew Hoover, 29, of Anderson is now charged with Rape, Burglary, and Abuse of a Corpse in addition to the original charge of Murder in the stabbing death of Wilma Ball.

According to the prosecutor, Hoover qualifies for the death penalty or life without parole. The prosecutor said he is still reviewing to determine if he would seek either.

Ball was found stabbed to death in her lakefront home along the first basin of Lake James June 23. Police found a large amount of blood around her body, on a bed, and the woman had her shirt pulled up, and pajama pants were on the floor, according to investigators.

Her death was ultimately ruled a homicide.

Investigators looking into the killing spoke with a neighbor, who said his brother – Hoover – may have been involved in Ball’s death, according to a probable cause affidavit. The man said Hoover had abruptly quit his job and moved out of his home the day before Ball was killed, then stole his parents’ truck and left town.

Police found Hoover at a home in rural Yorktown.

Hoover denied ever being in Ball’s home and told investigators during an interview that he did not kill Ball, the affidavit said. Steuben County Prosecutor Jeremy Muss said that a detective testified in court, though, that Hoover admitted to stabbing Ball during an interview.

According to the affidavit, though, police found a beer can on a nightstand next to the bed Ball was found dead in. Testing found the can had Hoover’s DNA on it.

Prosecutor Jeremy Musser told WANE 15 that the new charges came as a result of “further lab tests results that were not available at the time of the initial filing of the case.”

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