John Dennis Hoover
A Hixson couple has been charged with murder in the death of their mentally handicapped son, who died from severe malnutrition and dehydration.
John Dennis Hoover and Jacqueline Hoover are charged with first-degree murder and wilful abuse or neglect of an impaired adult.
Chattanooga Police responded to the 6700 block of Ardis Lane in Hixson on June 23.
They were told by the 69-year-old father that his 44-year-old son had not been eating since April. He said he had not eaten at all for the past four days.
The Hoovers said they moved in with their son after his grandmother died.
Medical staff at Memorial Hospital had contacted police after the son arrived at the hospital. They said he was suffering from severe malnutrition and dehydration.
Police were told it appeared to be a case of severe neglect or possibly abuse.
The son died at the hospital on June 29.
An affidavit said the son, who was described as having the mental ability of a five-year-old, was "obviously emaciated and had pressure sores on his person."
Police said the father told them that he and his wife "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."
They said the son has last been seen by a doctor in February and no doctor appointments had been made for him.
Police determined that the couple "had wilfully and knowingly deprived the victim of dire medical attention" and that was the cause of his death.