District Attorney's Office


  

Conasauga Judicial Circuit of Georgia




   Serving Murray & Whitfield Counties

HOOPER GETS LIFE FOR MOLESTING CHILD

August 25, 2017 (Dalton) – Lebron Keith Hooper (41), formally of 190 Swallow Way, Dalton, was found guilty late yesterday by a Whitfield County jury of two counts Aggravated Sodomy, Aggravated Child Molestation, and Cruelty to Children in the First Degree, for offenses committed against a child when she was between the ages of nine and ten. The trial began Tuesday, August 23, and was presided over by Senior Superior Court Judge Jack Partain. The State’s case was presented by Assistant District Attorney Keely Parker with assistance from Detective Daniel Jones of the Whitfield County Sheriff’s Office. The Defendant was represented by Dalton attorney Richard Murray. Hooper did not testify in his own defense.

In July of 2016, the then ten-year-old victim reported to her parents that the Defendant was sodomizing her. In fear, the child had waited several months before reporting the incident. Detective Daniel Jones began investigating the case, but due to the nature of the crime and the time lapse between the act and the report, there was no physical evidence or DNA. Detective Jones did discover evidence the Defendant had been searching for pornography depicting children engaged in sexual acts with adults in May of 2016. During the investigation, Detective Jones was able to locate and interview three other victims of the Defendant. Two reported that in separate incidents just over twenty years ago, the Defendant had raped them. Each of the victims testified at trial. A third victim testified that when she was nine years old, and the Defendant was twenty-seven, the Defendant began molesting her. He began by touching her inappropriately, and over a period of several years, his behavior progressed until he raped and sodomized her. None of the prior victims had disclosed their abuse to law enforcement when they occurred for fear of retribution from friends and family members and a concern they would not be believed. After the investigation had been closed, an inmate who had roomed with the Defendant at the Whitfield County Jail, approached Detective Jones and informed him the Defendant had been talking about and admitting his acts against the child. The inmate did not receive any consideration for his information and did testify at trial.

The jury deliberated for an hour and twelve minutes before returned a guilty verdict on all four counts in the indictment. Judge Partain sentenced the Defendant to three life sentences to run concurrently for the two Aggravated Sodomy and the Aggravated Child Molestation. Judge Partain also sentenced the Defendant to the maximum of twenty years to serve for the Cruelty to Children in the First Degree. That sentence is to run concurrent with his life sentences. Under current law, Hooper will have to serve 30 years before being considered for parole.

Crimes against children which leave behind no physical evidence are some of the most difficult cases to prosecute. Without Detective Jones’ comprehensive investigation and the willingness of other victims to come forward, face the Defendant and testify, it would have been much more difficult to bring Mr. Hooper to justice.



Bert Poston
District Attorney
Conasauga Judicial Circuit


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Bert Poston,
District Attorney


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