A little more than a year after Randall “Shorty” Penland was allegedly killed by a hit and run driver on Highway 64 east of Hayesville, the man accused of being responsible for the crime appeared in Clay County Superior Court Wednesday, Dec. 4 along with several members of Penland’s family. However, the case was not heard and instead continued until Feb. 26. Raymond Leo Hohmann III, 36, was arrested April 26, 2019 and charged with involuntary manslaughter, felony hit and run and felony obstruction.
Hohmann’s arrest came from a cooperative effort of the North Carolina State Highway Patrol and the Clay County Sheriff’s Office, along with an extensive investigation in multiple jurisdictions of two states. During the months since Penland’s death, banners reading “Justice for Shorty” were placed at the site where the Hiawassee, Ga. man was hit, as well as other sites. Early on the morning of Nov. 16, 2018, North Carolina State Highway Patrol Trooper K.D. Hyde was dispatched to where the body of Randall “Shorty” Penland had been located.
The highway patrol report said Hyde determined Penland had been involved in a motor vehicle collision, but the vehicle and its driver had left the scene. Clay County Sheriff’s Office deputies and investigators assisted highway patrol personnel that day and during the five-month investigation of Penland’s death. Hohmann, of 1334 Old Highway 64 E, Hayesville, was placed under a $100,000 secured bond the day of his arrest. Details were unknown about the case in court at press time.