Chesterfield mother convicted of murder connected to double shooting at Southside Plaza

Posted at 7:56 PM, Oct 21, 2014
and last updated 2014-10-21 20:05:21-04

RICHMOND, Va. -- A Richmond jury recommends 48 years of incarceration for 31-year-old Jodi Hope.

The Chesterfield mother and VCU nursing assistant was convicted on second-degree murder,
aggravated malicious wounding and two firearms charges connected to a double shooting at Southside Plaza in April.

"There will be an appeal and this case will be retried shortly," said Sherri Thaxton, defense attorney for Hope.

Defense attorney's argued that Hope acted in self defense the night of the shooting.

"The judge in this case directed the verdict refusing to give a self defense instruction," said Thaxton.

Jodi J. Hope (SOURCE: Richmond police)

Jodi J. Hope (SOURCE: Richmond police)

Jodi Hope testified that her fiancé, Shawne Cotten, had an altercation earlier that day and had been assaulted by Antonio and Dorsey Harris.

She says the Harris brothers accused Cotten of charging a lesser amount for tapes and CD's that both were selling at the shopping center.

She told the jury that Cotten was struck by Dorsey and then he slashed all four of her fiancé's tires.

And that the family was later threatened by the men.

Prosecutors say Hope was seeking to avenge what had happened to her boyrfiend.

"[Jodi] felt that her boyfriend had been slighted by the victims and she left her job at MCV to basically avenge the slight to her boyfriend," said Colette McEachin, Richmond Deputy Commonwealth's attorney.

McEachin told the jury that Jodi Hope, Shawn Cotten and his mother Angela plotted the whole thing.

But she says it was Hope who opened fire shooting 11 rounds at the Harris brothers as they walked away from the parking lot, killing Antonio and severely injuring Dorsey.

Both men were unarmed.

"There is no punishment that the defendant can receive that will ever bring her son back to her."

As she was leaving the John Marshall courthouse, Harris' mother told CBS 6:  "Justice has been served and these last few days have been extremely tough on the family."​
The trial, slated for two-days orginially, lasted for six days because of the number of witnesses and amount of evidence in this case.
Hope is being held without bond until her formal sentencing on January 15.