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Tell Hernando County state attorney Brad King: Prosecute William DeHayes for killing Katherine Hoover

William DeHayesOn July 26, 2014, 37 year-old William DeHayes was hosting Carson and Katherine Hoover at his home in Brooksville, Florida. DeHayes showed them his gun collection and then used a Western-style draw to hand an antique revolver to Carson (“like a cowboy would,” DeHayes said).1 The revolver misfired, discharging a round that struck Katherine, 25 years old and pregnant at the time, in the temple. Katherine died at the hospital, as did her baby (a boy she had named Rehlin).

DeHayes told authorities he didn’t know the gun was loaded. He was never tested for alcohol and drugs, although he admitted to taking Methadone and two prescription drugs before the shooting.2 Ultimately, DeHayes escaped being charged with any crime. “There is no evidence to suggest…DeHayes had a careless or reckless indifference to the safety of the victims when the firearm discharged,” wrote assistant state attorney Peter Magrino.

Less than two years later, on March 19, 2016, DeHayes was arrested for firing a 12-gauge shotgun into the air in his neighborhood. DeHayes told a responding officer that he had been drinking Crown Royal and beer since noon. He explained that he was showing his girlfriend’s 16 year-old daughter “how to shoot” and bragged of his prowess with firearms.

It’s time for Hernando County state attorney Brad King to prosecute William DeHayes for killing Katherine Hoover. King should make sure that DeHayes can never legally possess firearms again.

Tell Hernando County state attorney Brad King: Prosecute William DeHayes for manslaughter for killing Katherine Hoover.


  1. Brandy Zadrozny, “He Killed a Pregnant Mom—But He Still Gets a Gun,” Daily Beast, March 21, 2016
  2. Jennifer Mascia, “A Florida Woman’s Furious Campaign to Bring Her Pregnant Daughter’s Shooter to Justice,” The Trace, March 28, 2016

Hernando County state attorney Brad King

William DeHayes is clearly a threat to public safety and should never be allowed to legally purchase or own firearms again. Do your job and prosecute him for killing Katherine Hoover and her baby.
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