of Appellate Courts Hennepin County
Jeffrey Dean, Minneapolis, Minnesota, for appellant.
Swanson, Attorney General, Saint Paul, Minnesota; and Michael
O. Freeman, Hennepin County Attorney, Jean E. Burdorf,,
Assistant County Attorney, Minneapolis, Minnesota, for
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
and decided by the court without oral argument.
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.
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. 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.
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.
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.
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