Seldom has this Court considered a more spectacular or bizarre case than this habeas corpus petition of an experienced Texas criminal lawyer, former mayor of the City of Pasadena, Texas, who was found guilty in Texas State Court of being the mastermind and accomplice in an especially brutal and horrible assault and robbery, but who contends that he was invalidly convicted in violation of federal constitutional rights.
A New York Criminal Lawyer said that, S.H. is presently serving a sixty-year sentence imposed by the Criminal District Court of Harris County, Texas. A jury found him guilty in a separate trial as an accomplice to the crime of robbery by firearms, committed by principals J.Y., C.S., and S.H. SH has appealed from the denial of his petition for habeas corpus by the United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas, Houston Division.
On appeal Hoover has asserted two claims of error to the denial below of his habeas corpus petition based on federal constitutional grounds. First, he contends that the Court erred in refusing to sustain alleged violations of his Fourth and Fourteenth Amendment rights to be free from unreasonable search and seizure. The State Trial Court admitted into evidence two diamonds seized from SH’s home during a nighttime search conducted by the Houston Police Department. SH argues that the search was made without his voluntary consent, by police officers acting under color of a search warrant which was invalid. Secondly, SH asserts that his right to confrontation under the Sixth and Fourteenth Amendments was infringed when the State Trial Court admitted into evidence the oral confession of alleged principal and co-indictee CS. The confession, which also implicated SH as an accomplice, was admitted during the testimony of Officer C. V. Stone to whom CS confessed, pursuant to a well-established Texas exception to the hearsay rule which allows the confession of a principal to be admitted at the trial of an accomplice to prove the principal’s guilt, proof of such guilt being a necessary prerequisite to conviction of an accomplice to the offense.