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United States v. Hopkins

Court of Appeals of Louisiana, Second Circuit

April 10, 2019

STATE OF LOUISIANA Appellee
v.
TROY HOPKINS Appellant

          Appealed from the First Judicial District Court for the Parish of Caddo, Louisiana Trial Court No. 190230, Honorable Katherine Clark Dorroh, Judge

          LOUISIANA APPELLATE PROJECT, Peggy J. Sullivan. Counsel for Appellant

          TROY HOPKINS Pro Se

          JAMES E. STEWART, SR, Counsel for Appellee

          JASON W. WALTMAN, TOMMY J. JOHNSON, Assistant District Attorneys

          Before WILLIAMS, GARRETT, and STONE, JJ.

          STONE, J.

         The defendant, Troy Hopkins, was convicted of manslaughter pursuant to La. R.S. 14:31, adjudicated as a third-felony offender and sentenced to the mandatory term of life imprisonment without benefits. His conviction and sentence were affirmed on appeal. State v. Hopkins, 34, 119 (La.App. 2 Cir. 12/20/00), 774 So.2d 1178. Hopkins filed a motion to correct illegal sentence under State ex rel. Esteen v. State, 16-0949 (La. 1/30/18), 239 So.3d 233. The trial court granted the motion and set the matter for resentencing. Hopkins was resentenced to 65 years at hard labor. Hopkins appeals his sentence. For the following reasons, Hopkins' sentence is affirmed and the matter is remanded for correction of the minutes.

         FACTS

         On October 20, 1999, Hopkins was convicted by the jury of the responsive verdict of manslaughter, in violation of La. R.S. 14:31. The following facts are taken from this Court's prior opinion on appeal of Hopkins' conviction and original sentence:

On August 31, 1997, at approximately 3:00 p.m., Defendant shot and killed the victim, Roderick Adger, while on the way to make a drug exchange. Mr. Adger's friend, Amy White, was present during the shooting.
Mr. Adger, who lived with his girlfriend in a house on Lyon Street, contacted Ms. White, who lived in Mr. Adger's home on Malcolm Street, about a half block away. Mr. Adger, disturbing Ms. White's sleep, informed her that Defendant would be arriving at the house on Malcolm Street, at which time Ms. White was to go to Mr. Adger's residence on Lyon Street and inform him of Defendant's arrival. Ms. White informed Mr. Adger of Defendant's arrival at the Lyon Street address, at which time Mr. Adger armed himself with his .38 caliber pistol hidden under his shirt and sagged pants.
Himon Jones, Jr., Mr. Adger's first cousin, had just arrived at Mr. Adger's Lyon Street address to deliver a vehicle belonging to Mr. Adger's girlfriend, Philea, on which he had been making repairs. Mr. Adger, accompanied by Ms. White and Mr. Jones, drove the vehicle to the Malcolm Street address to meet Defendant. While at her home, Ms. White secured her nine-millimeter pistol in a brown paper bag to carry with her on the drug transaction.
Mr. Adger, Ms. White, Mr. Jones and Defendant then left the Malcolm Street address together in the vehicle. Seated in the four-door vehicle were Mr. Adger in the driver's seat, Defendant in the front passenger seat, and Mr. Jones and Ms. White in the backseat. Mr. Jones testified that, after having traveled only a short distance, he noticed that Defendant was pointing a pistol at him. Mr. Jones then jumped from the moving vehicle. Startled by Mr. Jones' immediate departure from the vehicle, Ms. White looked up to discover that Defendant was pointing a pistol at the side of Mr. Adger's head. Defendant demanded whatever drugs and money Mr. Adger possessed, which Mr. Adger turned over. As the remaining trio drove down Wallace Street toward Midway Street, only a few blocks from the initial point of ...

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