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Judge reinstates burglary charges

Hoover accused of illegally entering Duncansville home

Burglary and related charges have been reinstated against a Duncansville man who allegedly illegally entered a home on the 1100 block of 15th Avenue.

The charges against Brian Anthony Hoover, 32, were dismissed in early February by Blair County Judge Timothy Sullivan because evidence produced at a hearing showed that he was part owner of the property on July 1, 2020, when the break-in occurred.

After Hoover was arrested in July, his Hollidaysburg attorney, Phillip O. Robertson challenged the charges, pointing out the home was purchased by Hoover and a former girlfriend as a fixer-upper.

They originally had plans of living there together.

With no evidence to the contrary, Sullivan ruled that Hoover had a legal interest in the property and could freely remove any fixtures he desired.

The judge dismissed charges of burglary, criminal trespass, criminal mischief, theft by unlawful taking and receiving stolen property.

After the judge had issued his opinion, Blair County Assistant District Attorney Derek Elensky filed a motion to reinstate the charges, noting that an additional document concerning ownership had come to light.

Elensky argued that Hoover, in a separate deed, had given up his ownership of the property, which meant that when the entry occurred, he was not legally privy to the property.

The prosecution argument was that Hoover and his ex-girlfriend purchased the property in 2016. They separated but resumed the relationship in 2018.

In June of last year they again separated.

The girlfriend contended during the initial hearing that she believed Hoover had relinquished his rights to the property after the break-up in 2016, but at the time there were no documents to confirm that point.

The second deed, produced by the prosecution, showed the girlfriend’s memory was correct.

In an opinion issued this week, Sullivan stated the second deed to the property “confirmed that on the date of the subject incident, Wednesday, July 1, 2020, the (girlfriend) had full ownership interest in the real property at 1115 Fifth Avenue, Altoona, where the subject incident allegedly occurred.

“Thus, the defendant did not have a legal interest in the subject property,” he stated.

Based on the newly discovered evidence, Sullivan ruled the prosecution had met its burden of showing probable cause that a burglary had occurred.

He reinstated all of the charges.

His order stated that Hoover’s next court appearance is for a preliminary conference on July 19.

Hoover’s ex discovered the entry to the property when she came to the home to receive an estimate for new flooring.

The back door knob was missing, and a breaker panel and medicine cabinet were gone.

Hoover told the girlfriend he had gone inside to obtain his belongings to sell.

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