Relative of Mizpah Victim Reacts to Moore's Fate

By: Joe Harrington Email
By: Joe Harrington Email

The aunt of one of the victims of the fire at the Mizpah Hotel spoke with KOLO Saturday. This came one day after Valerie Moore pleaded guilty to starting the October 31, 2006 fire at the hotel that left 12 people dead.

"It brings closure that, you know, this individual, Valerie Moore, is off the streets. Unfortunately, she had to kill 12 people before we got her off the streets," Amelia Hoff said. Hoff's nephew, Christopher Covert, was the youngest victim of the Mizpah Hotel fire. He was 22-years-old.

In exchange for pleading guilty to the one count of arson and 12 counts of murder, the state will not seek the death penalty for Moore. Hoff said she's a Christian, and does not believe in the death penalty. It's expected that the state will ask Moore serve life sentences for the murder charges.

Hoff said she agrees with the deal that ensured Moore's life would be spared. However, she questioned why Moore, who had previously been convicted of killing someone, was out of jail at the time of the fire.

Previous news reports stated Moore was one of three people convicted in the beating death of a woman in 1987. KOLO also reported Moore was then paroled in 2005.

"She was violent, she had a history of violence... I don't understand, I couldn't believe that she was even out," Hoff said.

Hoff said the Fire Department gave her a box that contains items belonging to her nephew that were salvaged. She's waiting for Covert's mother to arrive from out-of-state to open it.

Hoff remembers her nephew's kindness toward other people. "He was such a good kid, very polite, he opened the door... Do you need something? I (will) go to the store for you. And he was just a good kid," Hoff said.


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