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Jacqueline Hoover, left, and John D. Hoover

A Hixson man and his wife were charged this weekend with felony murder and neglect after their son died at a local hospital.

John Dennis Hoover, 69, and Jacqueline Hoover, 38, were arrested on July 2 after Chattanooga police officers were notified by medical staff at CHI Memorial Hospital that they believed the couple had neglected their son, John V. Hoover, 44, according to a police affidavit.

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"Mr. Hoover and his wife stated that the victim had a mental disability and they had to move in with the victim to care for him," the affidavit said.

The Hoovers moved into John V. Hoover's apartment at the 3200 block of Redding Road in Red Bank, to care for him after his grandmother died, according to the affidavit.

Hoover told investigators that his son had the mental capacity of a 5-year-old and he would often withhold food to get his son to do things, said the affidavit.

"Mr. Hoover stated that he and Mrs. Hoover would withhold food from the victim to get him to shower and tied him to a bed at night to keep him from taking food," the affidavit said.

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On June 23, Hoover was transported by EMS to CHI Memorial, where medical staff contacted police advising them of a severe case of malnutrition and dehydration, according to the affidavit.

"Medical staff noted that it appeared to them that this was a severe case of neglect and at worst potential abuse," the affidavit said.

Hoover died on June 29. Chattanooga police officers were notified on July 1 and began conducting an investigation, according to the affidavit.

Hoover told officers that his son had not been to a doctor since February and both he and his wife failed to make any follow-up appointments, according to the affidavit. Hoover also said his son displayed decreased appetite since April and stopped eating completely four days before their arrest.

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Both Hoovers were each charged with one count of first-degree murder and one count of willful abuse or neglect of an impaired adult. They are both being held at Silverdale Detention Center without bond. They are expected to appear before Hamilton County General Sessions Court Judge Christine M. Sell on July 7.

Contact La Shawn Pagán at lpagan@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6476. Follow her on Twitter @LaShawnPagan.

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