‘I don’t want a dime to go to the victims,’ man accused of shooting 7 Florence, SC officers in ambush says

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FLORENCE, SC (WBTW) – A Florence man charged with shooting seven officers in an ambush, killing two of them, told a judge in court Friday that he didn’t want “a dime” of his assets going to the victims.

Fred Hopkins Jr., 76, a disbarred lawyer, argued in court on Friday over his assets, particularly his gun collection. Judge Eugene Griffith told Hopkins if he appointed a receiver to hold his assets, it would classify him as indigent on the spot and qualify him for a public defender.

Whether he’s considered to be indigent or not is key to getting Hopkins an appointed attorney.  Prosecutors have pointed to the large home Hopkins once lived in, his wife’s career, and his large gun collection. Hopkins is married to Cheryl Turner-Hopkins, a Florence divorce attorney.

Hopkins said on Friday he no longer wanted a receiver to hold his assets, which would mean the money and property would go to either victim or to where the court decides. “I don’t want a dime to go to the victims,” Hopkins told Griffith.

Griffith then explained the purpose of wanting to bring in a receiver is so Hopkins’ assets can be collected and maintained in the direction of the courts under civil law. His assets are currently scattered and being held by different agencies. Hopkins then agreed.

The judge will appoint a receiver for Hopkins’ assets and a public defender of the 15th Circuit Court. Griffith said there is a conflict of interest with the 12th circuit public defender’s office connected to one of the victims.

Hopkins is charged with two counts of murder and five counts of attempted murder. He’s in a Columbia jail awaiting a jury trial.  Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty

Officials said deputies went on Oct. 2018 to Hopkins’ home in to interview his 28-year-old son, Seth David Hopkins, about sex crimes against a child when the older Hopkins started shooting at police. Last year, Seth Hopkins was charged with five new counts of criminal sexual conduct with a minor under 11 years old (first degree), and two counts of criminal sexual conduct with a minor under 16 years old. He also remains in the Columbia jail awaiting trial.

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