Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Hooper v. State

Supreme Court of Minnesota

December 14, 2016

Brian Keith Hooper, Appellant,
v.
State of Minnesota, Respondent.

         Office of Appellate Courts Hennepin County

          Jeffrey Dean, Minneapolis, Minnesota, for appellant.

          Lori Swanson, Attorney General, Saint Paul, Minnesota; and Michael O. Freeman, Hennepin County Attorney, Jean E. Burdorf,, Assistant County Attorney, Minneapolis, Minnesota, for respondent.

         SYLLABUS

         The postconviction court did not abuse its discretion by summarily denying appellant's fourth petition for postconviction relief because the petition was untimely under the 2-year postconviction statute of limitations, and appellant's previously raised claims are procedurally barred.

         Affirmed.

         Considered and decided by the court without oral argument.

          OPINION

          ANDERSON, Justice.

         Appellant Brian Keith Hooper appeals the postconviction court's summary denial of his fourth petition for postconviction relief. See State v. Hooper (Hooper I), 620 N.W.2d 31 (Minn. 2000); State v. Hooper (Hooper II), 680 N.W.2d 89 (Minn. 2004); State v. Hooper (Hooper III), 838 N.W.2d 775 (Minn. 2013). The postconviction court denied Hooper's petition as untimely under Minn. Stat. § 590.01, subd. 4 (2014), and his previously raised claims as procedurally barred under State v. Knaffla, 309 Minn. 246, 252, 243 N.W.2d 737, 741 (1976). We affirm.

         I.

         In April 1998, police found Ann Prazniak's body in a box in the bedroom closet of her apartment with her wrists, face, and head bound with beige packing tape.[1] Her body was wrapped in a mattress pad and trash bags, and the box was wrapped in a string of Christmas lights. Neighbors told police that they had seen a woman, C.L., at Prazniak's apartment around the time of the murder. C.L. disclosed the names of others, including Hooper, who had visited the apartment as well. Police found Hooper's fingerprints on two sandwich bags and a beer can in Prazniak's living room, and C.L.'s fingerprints on pieces of beige packing tape stuck to the floor. Hooper admitted to police that he had used Prazniak's apartment to smoke crack cocaine, but he denied involvement in the murder.

          At Hooper's trial, four witnesses-C.K., C.B., L.J., and L.F.-testified that Hooper confessed to the murder. L.F. also testified that Hooper admitted to being in Prazniak's apartment, was nonchalant regarding Prazniak's murder, and said he was "hiding out." In addition to the confession witnesses, C.L. testified that, on the night of the murder, Hooper offered her drugs to be his lookout at Prazniak's apartment. C.L. heard a female voice cry "help" and left the building. Hooper then followed C.L. outside and told C.L. that she was going to be a lookout. Once inside the apartment, Hooper told C.L. to tear off strips of beige packing tape, which Hooper took into the bedroom. Later, Hooper told C.L. to clean up the apartment. Hooper used drugs and threats to obtain C.L.'s compliance with his demands and to ensure her silence afterwards. While she was cleaning, C.L. noticed a knife wedged between the door and the doorjamb of Prazniak's closet. Hooper told her not to open the closet door. C.L. also saw Christmas lights on the floor of Prazniak's bedroom.

         The jury heard extensive impeachment of C.L., C.K., C.B., L.J., and L.F., including the fact that L.F. had implicated Hooper falsely in another murder and had given inconsistent versions of Hooper's confession. Nonetheless, the jury found Hooper guilty of three counts of first-degree murder, Minn. Stat. § 609.185 (a)(1), (3) (2014), and the district court imposed three concurrent life sentences.

         On December 28, 2000, we affirmed Hooper's convictions and the denial of his first postconviction petition, holding that the evidence was sufficient to support Hooper's convictions and corroborate C.L.'s alleged accomplice testimony. Hooper I, 620 N.W.2d at 41. Specifically, we held that C.L.'s testimony was corroborated by Hooper's fingerprints, the beige packing tape, and the Christmas lights found in Prazniak's apartment; the testimony of the four witnesses to whom Hooper confessed; and Hooper's admission that he had used Prazniak's ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.