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Hopper v. State

Court of Appeals of Mississippi

March 28, 2017

TERRELL PATRICK CORVETTE HOPPER A/K/A TERRELL P. HOPPER A/K/A PATRICK APPELLANT
v.
STATE OF MISSISSIPPI APPELLEE

          DATES OF JUDGMENT: 11/12/2003; 07/24/2003

         COAHOMA COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT HON. LARRY O. LEWIS, Judge

          ATTORNEY FOR APPELLANT: OFFICE OF STATE PUBLIC DEFENDER BY: JUSTIN TAYLOR COOK

          ATTORNEY FOR APPELLEE: OFFICE OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL BY: ABBIE EASON KOONCE

          DISTRICT ATTORNEY: BRENDA FAY MITCHELL

          BEFORE GRIFFIS, P.J., BARNES AND FAIR, JJ.

          FAIR, J.

         ¶1. The Mississippi Supreme Court has granted out-of-time appeals of two convictions rendered more than ten years ago.[1] We address Hopper's claims on direct appeal in accordance with the supreme court's order.[2] Hopper's attorney originally submitted a single issue - that he is entitled to new trials because he received constitutionally ineffective assistance of counsel. Hopper has since filed a pro se supplemental brief asserting other issues.

         FACTS

         ¶2. Hopper has provided a thorough procedural history and set of facts on appeal:

Procedural History of Trial 1
On June 3, 2003, a Coahoma County [g]rand [j]ury returned a multi-count indictment against Terrell Patrick Corvette Hopper . . . and Patrick Parker, charging Hopper with aggravated assault and aggravated assault of a law enforcement officer and Patrick Parker with accessory after the fact.
Hopper was arraigned on June 13, 2003, represented by Charles McPherson. The case was assigned to the Honorable Circuit Court Judge Larry O. Lewis. A little over one month after his arraignment, Hopper and Parker were tried together. Hopper was convicted of both counts, and Parker was acquitted. Hopper was sentenced to twenty years for aggravated assault and thirty years for aggravated assault against a law enforcement officer, to run consecutively.
Hopper filed his motion for a new trial on August 25, 2003. That motion was denied on November 12, 2003.
Procedural History of Trial 2
On June 3, 2003, a Coahoma County [g]rand [j]ury returned a multi-count indictment against [Hopper, ] . . . charging [him] with armed robbery, kidnaping, and nine counts of aggravated assault against a law enforcement officer.
Hopper was arraigned on June 13, 2003, [and again] represented by [McPherson]. The case was assigned to [Judge] Lewis. On November 10, 2003, Hopper was brought to trial and ultimately acquitted of three counts of aggravated assault, but convicted of six counts of aggravated assault. Hopper was sentenced to serve a total of thirty years concurrent on all counts of aggravated assault and thirty-seven years on armed robbery, to be served consecutive to Hopper's sentences in Trial 1, for a total of eighty-seven years putting the two trials' sentences together.
Hopper filed his motion for a new trial on December 6, 2003. That motion was denied on December 10, 2003.
Additional Procedural History
This Court originally docketed the appeals of Trials 1 and 2 as 2006-KA[-0]1607 and 2005-KA-[00]526, respectively. Because Hopper's attorney never proceeded with his appeal, both appeals were dismissed. The cases languished until, through a series of post-conviction[-]relief and habeas petitions, the Mississippi Supreme Court allowed Hopper to proceed in an out[-]of[-]time appeal, and consolidated both trials into this cause number. The Supreme Court appointed the Indigent Appeals Division of the Office of State Public Defender. This case was subsequently assigned to [this Court].
Facts of Trial 1
On August 16th, 2002, in Friars Point, Mississippi, Doyle Hunter was in front of a local store when he was shot by [Hopper]. Hunter was hit in the face and in the shoulder blade. Hunter was transported to a hospital in Memphis and lived. Earlier that night Hunter and Hopper had a disagreement. Hunter was intoxicated. Hunter testified that he "didn't think" that the argument was over drugs and denied being in a gang. Hopper, however, testified that Hunter had told him that Chief Anthony Smith [of the Friars Point Police Department] wanted to see Hopper.
The afternoon of the next day, Chief [] Smith . . . having developed Hopper as a suspect in the shooting of Hunter, spotted who he believed to be Hopper. Chief Smith parked his vehicle, and, when he reached over to put his keys in his passenger seat, Chief Smith was shot through the lower neck, near his shoulder. When Chief Smith turned, he saw Hopper with a gun pointed towards him. Chief Smith yelled for a passerby, and directed him to use the radio to call the sheriff's department . . . By the time Chief Smith regained his faculties, Hopper had already fled the scene.
That evening, authorities communicated with [] Parker, who told them that Hopper had stopped by Parker's residence. Police attempted to arrest Hopper at Parker's house, but were unable to, the circumstances of which resulted in ...

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