MOBILE, Alabama — A Bay Minette man was found guilty of murder in a Mobile County courtroom Tuesday, April 20, for a 2018 shooting at a Prichard gas station.
Laderrick Hopson, of Bay Minette was convicted on murder charges in the death 42-year-old Rodney Martin, who was shot six times at the Energize gas station on St. Stephens Road in Prichard's Whistler community on Feb. 8, 2018. Hopson was 24 at the time of the shooting.
In a statement released Tuesday, Mobile County Assistant District Attorney Coy Morgan, the lead prosecutor in the case, called the conviction “a giant leap forward in our community’s recovery from the COVIC-19 pandemic” marking the first time this year that a Mobile County jury has returned a guilty verdict in a murder trial.
“The guilty verdict returned today is about justice and closure for the mother, daughter, son and numerous other family and friends who lost the victim Rodney Martin at such a young age,” Coy said. “As tragic and senseless as this murder was, today has been a great day for the Martin family and our community.”
In December of 2018, Hopson was sentenced in federal court on the charge of being a felon in possession of ammunition in connection with the shooting. Hopson pleaded guilty to the charge in July of 2018.
The evidence presented at the sentencing hearing showed Hopson depicted on surveillance video at a convenience store on St. Stephens Road in February of 2018 as he entered the store, then followed another customer out of the store and shot him.
The video showed Hopson rack the gun once prior to firing it, and the ammunition ejected from the gun was recovered in the investigation that followed the shooting. The customer, identified as Martin, later died at the hospital.
According to reports, Hopson later confessed to the crime and was picked up on murder charges with the Prichard Police Department. The federal indictment reflected that his prior conviction is for robbery second degree in 2016.
Hopson was sentenced to 71 months imprisonment for the federal charge and ordered to pay $100 in special mandatory assessments.
According to Alabama Department of Corrections records, Hopson was serving his sentence at the William E. Donaldson Corrections Facility in Bessemer. Mobile Metro Jail records show he was booked for safekeeping on April 16.