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The Orion

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Chico State's independent student newspaper

The Orion

Cyclist’s killer gets release date moved back 8 months

Kristina Chesterman’s immediate family stands in front of the Butte County Superior Court with their friends and family. Photo credit: Christine Lee

After Riley Dean Hoover killed Kristina Chesterman on Nord Avenue while driving drunk, he was originally sentenced to seven years in prison.

However, it was decided that Hoover would only have to serve 85% of that sentence.

Riley Hoover. Photo courtesy Cuyahoga County Prosecutor’s Office.

Hoover was scheduled to be released from Folsom State Prison on Tuesday, Nov. 19, five years after his original sentence was given and six years after he killed Chesterman, a young Chico State student.

However, Hoover was recently moved to another prison, and his release date was pushed back.

“The other day (I) wanted to find out what time he was getting released on the 19th and I called and found out that not only was his time extended to July of 2020, he was moved to a prison down in San Diego,” Sandra Chesterman, mother of Kristina, said.

Sandra and Dave Chesterman gave away free reflector vests for the second annual Kristina Chesterman Memorial Bike Safety and Drunk Driving Awareness event, Sat. Oct. 18. Photo credit: Anna Sobreviñas

Sandra was originally planning on being there for Hoover’s release and protesting with a group.

“There’s a group of between 50 and 100 people that were going to be outside of the prison protesting (in Folsom) his release because he was on felony probation when he killed Kristina, and he only had three days left, and in Ohio they had said that they were gonna call it close enough,” Chesterman said. “I was going to protest him not getting extradited to Ohio where he should have been.”

This was not the first time Hoover’s release date was moved back.

Chesterman said that when he was initially supposed to be released, “I received notice… that something happened, and they will not share with me what it was that happened, but they did tell me that he got 14 months added on to the sentence and he was moved to Folsom State Prison.”

Chesterman was well prepared for the protest that would have taken place at Folsom on Nov. 19.

“I had all these people ready to be there outside of the prison at Folsom and I had t-shirts that I had made with Kristina’s picture that said ‘justice for Kristina, keep Riley Hoover in prison,’ just all these things,” she said. “I just have to fight the fight.”

Kristina Chesterman, a 21-year-old nursing student, died Tuesday afternoon after being struck in a hit-and-run on Sunday. Image provided by the Chesterman family.
Dave and Sandra Chesterman mourn the loss of their daughter, Kristinia, one year after her death. Photo credit: Annie Paige

Kristina’s family has been keeping her memory alive for the past six years, and are still continuing to do so.

“Kristina was not a shrinking violet,” Chesterman said. “She was just the kind of person that was gonna change the world… I have to follow through with that dream for her.”

The family set up the Kristina Chesterman Memorial Clinic, which is a fully functioning hospital in Ozu Abam, Nigeria.

“Kristina wanted to go and volunteer for a year with Doctors Without Borders,” Chesterman said. “When her nursing instructor heard the story at her memorial service she said I want to do something to honor Kristina and this is the way to do it.”

The Chesterman’s have also given back to the Chico community to honor Kristina.

“We also have a scholarship at Chico State for nursing students that we have funded for the next, I think, 45 years,” Chesterman said.

Since Kristina’s death, the Chico community holds a place in Sandra Chesterman’s heart.

“I never thought I would love Chico,” she said. “I never thought that the Chico community would mean something to me but it means more than you could ever know, honestly.”

Chesterman and other protestors will be at Calipatria State Prison when Hoover gets released in 2020.

“It doesn’t matter when it is, but I will be there when he gets out,” Sandra said.

Jessie Imhoff can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter @JessieReports.

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