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Luis A. Bailey claimed he could not give an answer as to why he brutally beat and murdered Norma Hopper on December 21, 2012, stating merely that “…the Devil has a very sweet voice….” Bailey, now 18, of Elkhart, explained that he was looking for money and the victim’s car keys when he broke into Ms. Hopper’s home on Michael Drive, Elkhart, in the early morning hours of December 21, 2012. Once inside, Bailey unplugged the phone, and beat Ms. Hopper in her bed with a fencepost he had brought in with him. Afterward, Bailey, while searching for items of value, heard Ms. Hopper moaning and proceeded to beat her with the fencepost even more until she was completely unresponsive.. Taking a small amount of money and Ms. Hopper’s car, Bailey fled the murder scene and went to find some marijuana to purchase. Ms. Hopper’s car was found abandoned in Michigan a few days later.
The Elkhart County Sheriff’s Department, with assistance from other area law enforcement agencies, conducted a thorough investigation and located Mr. Bailey hiding out with some friends two days later. Bailey, a juvenile at the time, consulted with his parents and admitted the details of his actions, recounting how he intended to commit burglaries in the Michael Drive neighborhood that night, and learned the victim was home after ringing her doorbell then leaving due to her calling the police. Later, after police had left, Bailey returned to the home and broke in through an unlocked window at the back of the house to take car keys and some change he had observed through the front door windows. Bailey also admitted extensive information about beating Ms. Hopper and fleeing with her property.
Bailey had previously been offered numerous services and treatment opportunities during his past involvement in the juvenile criminal system for minor offenses, including use of marijuana. However, his actions illustrated that he continued to use marijuana and disrespect the laws of the State of Indiana.
The Office of the Prosecuting Attorney allowed Bailey to plead guilty to Murder in early May to an agreed term of sixty-five (65) years at the Indiana Department of Correction, the maximum sentence for the crime of Murder, in lieu of filing a request for the enhancement of Life Imprisonment Without Parole. As part of the plea agreement, Bailey also waived his rights to appeal his conviction.