By Roger McKinney
COLUMBUS, Kan. — Twin sisters Birdie Jo Hoaks and Becky Jo Hoaks apparently have bobbed outside the reach of the long arm of the legal system in Cherokee County.
Birdie Hoaks’ record includes 12 convictions in seven states.
When the FBI was investigating then-Cherokee County Attorney Michael Goodrich in 2007, two of the cases assigned to a special prosecutor were those of the Hoaks sisters.
Then, nothing happened. The sisters left the area.
Now, charges against the sisters have been dismissed because there has been no activity in the cases, and the 37-year-old women are long gone.
The sisters were charged with felony burglary, felony theft and felony property damage, alleging that on Nov. 6, 2006, they broke into the Galena Assembly of God and stole a safe containing $2,400 from an associate pastor’s office.
Then-assistant Cherokee County Attorney Garth Adams was prosecuting the cases at the time. Stephen Angermayer was appointed special prosecutor in both cases on July 26, 2007, because the FBI was investigating Goodrich, though that was not revealed as the reason at the time.
“It breaks my heart,” Adams said at the time about turning over the case.
Candace Gayoso, who became assistant county attorney in December 2007, was appointed special prosecutor in the Birdie Hoaks case on Oct. 11, 2007. Cherokee County Attorney John Bullard took office on Dec. 1, 2007, after Goodrich’s resignation. Bullard did not keep Adams on his staff.
Yet there was no further activity in either case until Jan. 9, when Bullard filed motions to dismiss the charges against both sisters, and Magistrate Judge Bill Lyerla signed an order dismissing the charges.
In his motions, Bullard listed four reasons for dismissing the charges:
Considerable time has passed since the charges were filed, and witnesses have moved away.
The sisters have moved from the area with no known intentions to return.
By Roger McKinney
- Local News
VIDEO: Train mail car trailered on Joplin's Main Street to Redings Mill
With a police escort leading the way Monday, postal car No. 34 breezed through downtown Joplin en route to its new home in Redings Mill, where it was greeted by a welcome party of local residents and railroad enthusiasts.
Governor tells educators GOP ‘abandoning’ education system
Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon called on the state’s education leaders Tuesday to hold Republican legislators accountable for polices he labeled as “abandoning” the state’s education system.
Mike Pound: Center for abused children sees heaviest case load in 17 years
Not too long ago, the board of directors of the Children’s Center of Southwest Missouri was given some information that it didn’t exactly know how take.
Riverton School Board sending letter of opposition on Galena landfill plan
During a special Board of Education meeting Tuesday night in Riverton, members discussed the district’s involvement in preventing a proposed landfill from being built about two miles from the school.
Fired McDonald County chief deputy charged with tampering
A Missouri State Highway Patrol probe of the McDonald County sheriff’s office has led to the former chief deputy being accused of tampering with evidence and raised questions about a possible cover-up.
VIDEO: African art collection found in stairwell ‘tomb’ at MSSU
It wasn’t exactly like opening King Tut’s tomb, but the treasures found inside were priceless just the same. After taking over as head of the art department at Missouri Southern State University, Christine Bentley wanted to assess the department’s African art holdings.
4.3 magnitude quake reported in northern Oklahoma
The U.S. Geological Survey says an earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 4.3 struck northern Oklahoma on Monday night.
Update: 4 workers injured in SE Kansas oil refinery fire
A Texas company says four workers at a southeast Kansas oil refinery were burned in an early morning fire.
Judge lifts seal on records in Parsons quadruple slaying
A judge has rescinded his order sealing court records in the case of David Bennett Jr., who is accused of killing a Parsons woman and her three children.
Seneca man draws concurrent term in sexual abuse case
A 39-year-old man who sexually abused a girl over a four-year period in both Joplin and Seneca received a 15-year sentence Monday in Newton County that will run concurrently with a term he received earlier this year in Jasper County.
- More Local News Headlines
- VIDEO: Train mail car trailered on Joplin's Main Street to Redings Mill