Man accused of killing Provo police officer appears in court


PROVO, Utah (ABC4 News) – Matt Hoover had a knack for running away from police.

That according to new charges filed against Hoover.  He is already facing aggravated murder in the shooting death of Provo police officer Joe Shinners. 

Hoover appeared in court Monday for Shinners murder but he was also officially charged with evading police in November. 

That incident with Orem police resulted in a warrant for Hoover’s arrest. January 5th, Provo police spotted Hoover and learned of the warrant. When they tried to stop him, he allegedly tried taking off.  And moments later, prosecutors claimed he shot and killed Officer Shinners.

Hoover appeared subdued and quiet during his first court appearance.

He was assigned three public defenders who have experience with capital murder cases.

Prosecutors have yet to decide if they will pursue that but Hoover is aware of it.

“It is very sobering,” said Tom Means, one of the public defenders assigned to Hoover.  “Mr. Hoover, I am sure has his head is in a fog today and today’s appearance was probably very overwhelming.” 

Hoover allegedly told others on Facebook that he was not going to be arrested and wanted to die at the hands of police.  His former wife who appeared in court Monday said she never said that.

“They were already saying some things that said I was supposed to have said that,” said Terri Hoover. “I did not say that.  So I don’t trust the media whatsoever.” 

But Hoover will be around to face some kind of murder charges.  Prosecutors said there are several factors besides the murder of Officer Shinners which could easily turn this into a death penalty case.

“He was in the process of evading arrest when this occurred,” said Chad Grunander, deputy Utah County attorney.  “And there was more than one person that was put at great risk of death.” 

He said a woman was with Hoover and was in the line of fire.  But she wasn’t injured. Grunander said she was a victim and wasn’t adducted.

Hoover will remain in the Utah County jail and will return to court March 4.

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