Judson Hoover, 50, of New Albany, Ind., pleaded guilty Thursday, Sept. 3, 2020, to killing his wife, Rebecca Ruth Hoover. The couple’s 8-year-old son reported seeing his father stomp and stab his mother to death Aug. 2 in the basement of their home. (Floyd County Jail, Contributed from missing person reports)
NEW ALBANY, Ind. — Within hours of being charged with killing his wife in the basement of their home last month, Judson Keith Hoover walked into an Indiana courtroom Thursday and pleaded guilty to her murder.
Hoover, 50, of New Albany, admitted to killing Rebecca Ruth Hoover, 38, who had been reported missing by her mother last month. Rebecca Hoover had last been seen Aug. 2.
Judson Hoover filed for divorce the next day, court records show. New Albany police officials said, however, that Rebecca Hoover was already dead.
Her murder came to light this week when the couple’s 8-year-old son told a school counselor that he had seen his father kill his mother, authorities said.
The News and Tribune reported that Judson Hoover entered a guilty plea Thursday during his initial court appearance to save the boy from having to testify during a subsequent murder trial.
“I’m profoundly saddened for the family of Rebecca Hoover,” Floyd County Prosecutor Chris Lane said Thursday during a news conference. “The New Albany Police Department did a truly outstanding job on this case. Truly. And we’re very thankful for their hard work.”
The case began on Aug. 4, when Rebecca Hoover’s mother reported her missing, according to New Albany police Chief Todd Bailey. Police officers went to the couple’s home on St. Joseph Road, but found no sign of the missing woman.
“Fast-forwarding to Aug. 27, our criminal investigators were alerted that Ms. Hoover’s disappearance may very well have been criminal in nature,” Bailey said. “Based on that information, our criminal investigators took everything into high gear and spent countless hours uncovering the facts of this case.”
Information gathered by the detectives indicated that Judson Hoover was likely responsible for her his wife’s death, the chief said.
Lane went into additional detail, saying it was a family member who, on Aug. 27, came forward with information that Judson Hoover had killed his wife. A forensic interview was conducted with the witness, who he declined to name, and search warrants were executed at the couple’s home.