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Floyd county man who was sent to prison for shooting engagement ring loses appeal

CHARLES CITY – A Floyd county man who was sent to prison for shooting his own engagement ring, leading to a conviction and imprisonment, has lost an appeal in the case.

Adam Lee Hopper, age 30, was found guilty by a jury on August 11, 2015 of a felony charge of intimidation with a dangerous weapon for using a gun in a manner that frightened a woman on March 8, 2015.

At trial, Hopper’s fiancée testified she lived with Hopper and was at their home on March 8. They got into an argument in their bedroom, and she left the room and went downstairs. She then heard glass shattering. She went outside and came back in to clean up some of the glass before returning outside. When she attempted to go back inside the second time the door to the house was locked. She began knocking on the door, and eventually Hopper answered it and pushed past her out to the front porch with a gun in his hands. She saw him point the gun toward the floor of the porch and heard a gunshot when she got back to the downstairs bedroom. Hopper then went into the bedroom with her engagement ring that he had just shot and threw it at her. She testified she threw the ring back out the bedroom door behind him as he left the room. She then saw Hopper standing in the kitchen and shooting the gun through the door toward the outside several times. While still holding the gun, Hopper returned to the bedroom where she was. His fiancée testified she was afraid for her life because Hopper was angry and had a gun. She asked him not to point the gun at her, and he told her the gun was not loaded. Hopper left the room and went back upstairs. He later came back down and asked if he could stay in the room with her. She testified that, because she was too scared to say anything else, she told him he could stay. The next morning, she went to a friend’s house and called the police to report the incident. An investigator testified he found several bullet casings in the kitchen area and “throughout the house.”

In an appeal, Hopper argued his trial counsel rendered ineffective assistance in failing to properly challenge the sufficiency of the evidence. He also contends the district court imposed an illegal sentence when it established a sequence for payment of restitution contrary to the law.  The Iowa Court of Appeals, however, disagreed, and upheld his sentence.

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