Hooper sentenced to six years in drowning death of his friend

Lisa Hinton-Valdrighi

by Lisa Hinton-Valdrighi

NORFOLK—John Randolph “Rand” Hooper of Richmond spoke in court Monday for the first time since the death of his friend Graham McCormick 1,725 days ago.

With a quavering voice, Hooper said McCormick was “one of the greatest people I’ve ever met” and he recognized “nothing I say or do will ever ease the pain” for McCormick’s family. He also admitted “the safety of everyone at that house” that fateful weekend in 2017 was “my responsibility and for that I failed.”

Hooper, 36, spoke briefly before Judge Charles Poston sentenced him to six years in prison for the role he played in the death of his friend.

In January, a Norfolk jury found Hooper guilty of involuntary manslaughter and failure to stop and render aid following a boating accident August 11, 2017, on Carter Creek at the mouth of the Rappahannock River. The crash resulted in the drowning death of McCormick, 31, of Atlanta.   

The judge heard from seven witnesses for the prosecution and five for the defense before sentencing Hooper to 15 years on both charges with nine suspended. The sentence included….

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