DeKalb County judge refuses bail to accused

By Stewart Warren

A DeKalb County judge denied bail Thursday for the DeKalb High School graduate accused of murdering Lisa Garretson.

Brett M. Hooghkirk, 18, appeared calm and relaxed as Associate Judge Douglas Engel ordered him to remain in DeKalb County Jail without bond.

Hooghkirk faces a preliminary hearing Thursday at 1:30 p.m. when the court will decide if there are enough facts to indicate that a crime was committed and that Hooghkirk might be responsible, DeKalb State’s Attorney Mike Coghlan said.

A small group of Hooghkirk’s family and friends watched quietly while Coghlan explained that Hooghkirk and Garretson struggled before Hooghkirk hit her in the head with an iron.

Coghlan said Hooghkirk was “a real and present threat to the physical safety of other persons.” Court documents stated that the “charring of the body constitutes exceptionally heinous and brutal behavior indicative of wanton cruelty.”

Hooghkirk was under juvenile supervision for a DeKalb burglary when Garretson was murdered.

Although Hooghkirk will be tried as an adult, he is not eligible for the death penalty if he is found guilty because the crime was committed when he was a juvenile, Coghlan said.

Garretson was found dead in her apartment at 1110 State St. on August 21, 1988. Court documents stated that Hooghkirk told detective William Thompson that he had struck Garretson in the head, choked and raped her and started a fire to hide the crime.