Hull gets identical sentence after appeal

Published 9:22 am Friday, April 17, 2015

A convicted killer whose sentence was tossed by the state court of appeals because of a paperwork error received an almost identical sentence Thursday.

Circuit Judge Isadore Patrick sentenced Lorenzo Hull, 45, to 35 years in prison in the 2011 beating death of his girlfriend, Angela Andrews.

In March, The Mississippi Court of Appeals upheld Hull’s conviction for second-degree murder but threw out a 35-year sentence without the possibility for parole as a habitual offender, citing that prosecutors failed to offer evidence that Hull was a habitual offender.

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“If he’s eligible for parole, then so be it,” Patrick said during the sentencing.

However, District Attorney Ricky Smith said second-degree murder is not an offense that is eligible for parole under state guidelines.

Hull made no statement during the hearing, nor did his attorney John Bullard.

During trial, prosecutors said Hull beat Andrews unconscious Dec. 4, 2011. Warren County 911 records show Hull called to report Andrews was not breathing at 7:30 a.m. the next day.

Andrews died Dec. 6, 2011, at University of Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson. She was 40.

Defense attorney John Bullard argued that Hull and Andrews were fighting when Andrews fell and injured her head on a block of concrete.

Andrews was a disabled U.S. Army veteran who had had been living with Hull for about six or seven months before her death, family members have said.

At Hull’s initial sentencing hearing, prosecutors said they had certified copies of sentencing orders for Hull’s two prior convictions for sale of a controlled substance in 1993 and possession of cocaine in 2002. However, the appeals court said prosecutors failed to introduce these documents into evidence or make them a part of the trial record.

“The state has really been cracking down on habitual offender cases,” Smith said.

The appeals court said in order to sentence a defendant as a habitual offender, the accused must be properly indicted as a habitual offender, the prosecution must provide evidence of prior offenses and the defendant must be allowed to challenge that evidence.

Hull is serving his sentence in Walnut Grove Correctional Facility in Leake County.