Plea deal struck in 2021 slaying of woman, 82, at Lake James

A man accused of killing an 82-year-old woman at Lake James last year would plead guilty to murder and burglary charges under a plea agreement if a judge accepts the deal.

Under the deal, Matthew R. Hoover, 30, of Yorktown, would face a sentence of 55 to 95 years in prison for the June 23, 2021, stabbing death of Wilma Bell, court records show.

In exchange for his plea, prosecutors agreed to drop charges of attempted rape and attempted abuse of a corpse.

Hoover appeared in Steuben Circuit Court on Wednesday to withdraw a motion for an insanity defense and to enter into the plea agreement, records show.

Judge Allen Wheat took the agreement under advisement and scheduled an Oct. 4 sentencing hearing.

Investigators were able to link Hoover to the crime from DNA he left on two empty beer cans he left at her house, records show.

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