Sex abuse suspect’s charges headed to trial
By NEAL WAGNER / Managing Editor
COLUMBIANA – Charges against a 41-year-old Montevallo man who has been charged with allegedly molesting an underage victim between 2012 and 2014 are headed to trial after the suspect appeared in Shelby County Circuit Court on Oct. 4.
Following the Oct. 4 hearing Circuit Court Judge Lara Alvis placed charges against James Michael Hooie on the court’s general call docket “to await the next available trial cycle.”
“Complete discovery has been made, all avenues of settlement have been exhausted and no relevant pretrial issues are pending,” read the court document filed after the hearing.
A Shelby County grand jury in May returned a three-count indictment against Hooie, who lists an address on Shelby County 84 in Montevallo and previously listed an address in Alabaster, upholding three felony counts of first-degree sexual abuse against him.
If convicted, Hooie could face up to 10 years in prison per charge.
In July, Hooie entered written pleas of not guilty and not guilty by reason of mental disease or defect to the three felony charges.
The Alabaster Police Department arrested Hooie on Dec. 14, 2014, and charged him with three felony counts of first-degree sexual abuse.
The charges came after Hooie allegedly molested an underage female victim multiple times between 2012 and Dec. 11, 2014, according to his arrest warrants.
Hooie has been out of jail since Dec. 28, 2015, after again posting bonds totaling $15,000.