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State v. Hoop

Court of Appeals of Ohio, Twelfth District

July 15, 2013

STATE OF OHIO, Plaintiff-Appellee,
v.
JOY MAJOR HOOP, Defendant-Appellant.

CRIMINAL APPEAL FROM BROWN COUNTY COURT OF COMMON PLEAS Case No. 97-2065

Paul L. Scarsella, Special Assistant Brown County Prosecutor, for plaintiff-appellee

Dennis W. McNamara, for defendant-appellant

OPINION

S. POWELL, J.

{¶ 1} Defendant-appellant, Joy Major Hoop, appeals the decision of the Brown County Court of Common Pleas denying her second motion for a new trial. For the reasons outlined below, we affirm the decision of the trial court.

{¶ 2} Hoop was convicted in 1998 of conspiracy and complicity in the aggravated murder of her husband, Donald Ray Hoop. The pertinent facts and procedural history of this matter were recently discussed at length in State v. Hoop, 12th Dist. No. CA2011-07-015, 2012-Ohio-992, wherein this court denied her first motion for a new trial. Suffice it to say, although her conviction was affirmed on appeal, see State v. Hoop, 134 Ohio App.3d 627 (12th Dist.1999) and State v. Hoop, 12th Dist. No. CA2000-11-034, 2001 WL 877296 (Aug. 6, 2001), Hoop continues to advocate her innocence despite the abundance of evidence directly implicating her in the murder-for-hire scheme.

{¶ 3} To that end, Hoop has filed a second motion for a new trial alleging she has now discovered the identity of the individual who provided Carl Lindsey, the gunman, with the weapon he used to commit the murder.[1] The trial court, however, denied the motion finding this alleged newly discovered evidence was cumulative and served only to impeach the evidence previously introduced at her trial. The trial court also determined that the evidence did not provide a strong probability of a different outcome or changed result if a new trial was granted.

{¶ 4} Hoop now appeals from the trial court's decision denying her second motion for a new trial, raising two assignments of error for review. For ease of discussion, we will address Hoop's two assignments of error together.

{¶ 5} Assignment of Error No. 1:

{¶ 6} THE TRIAL COURT ERRED WHEN IT OVERRULED MS. HOOP'S MOTION FOR A NEW TRIAL.

{¶ 7} Assignment of Error No. 2:

{¶ 8} THE TRIAL COURT ERRED WHEN IT OVERRULED MS. HOOP'S MOTION FOR A NEW TRIAL WITHOUT CONDUCTING AN EVIDENTIARY HEARING.

{¶ 9} In her two assignments of error, Hoop argues that the trial court erred in its decision overruling her second motion for a new trial, or, at the very least, erred by denying the motion without first conducting an evidentiary hearing. We disagree.

{¶ 10} Crim.R. 33 motions for a new trial are not to be granted lightly. State v.Thornton, 12th Dist. No. CA2012-09-063, 2013-Ohio-2394, ¶ 21, citing City of Toledo v.Stuart, 11 Ohio App.3d 292, 293 (6th Dist.1983). In order to prevail on a motion for a new trial based upon newly discovered evidence, ...


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