Innocent Deputy Faces Murder Charge

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Deputy Josh Hopkins is 29 years old and he has worked as a Deputy Sheriff in North Carolina and Tennessee for over six years. He is proud to have spent his time on-duty helping and protecting the rights and lives of people from all walks of life. Grandmothers, grandfathers, mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, sons and daughters. Now he is faced with a very challenging time in his own life and needs your help. He has been wrongfully accused of homicide. Please read on as I explain what's happening.

Here is the story:  A little over a year ago, Hopkins and two other deputies were called to a disturbance at a man's home that led to the intoxicated suspect dragging Hopkins down the road with his pick-up truck when he tried to disarm the man of his loaded rifle. Hopkins had no choice but to use lethal force to protect himself and his fellow officers from the rifle and the use of suspect's truck as a weapon. It is a tragedy whenever a life is lost but in this instance there was absolutely no other choice. Body camera video, dash camera video, forensic evidence and all three deputies involved that night where intensely reviewed and interviewed by the Sheriff's office and the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation (SBI). All were were unanimously cleared of any wrongdoing. They all agreed that Hopkins and possibly the other two deputies would not be alive today if he had not done what he did to protect them.

Taking a life is a tragedy, even if there is no choice but to do so. Police officers that are forced to take a life in the line of duty do not go home and brush it off. They live with the stress everyday, have nightmares, soaring PTSD, backlash from uninformed angry people, biased news reports, administrative leave without pay, attacks on their integrity, soul damaging anger directed at you for doing nothing more than your job and defending yourself from harm and possible death.

What can be done: Hopkins is awaiting trial on these charges and preparing a strong legal defense with his attorney. Unfortunately legal aid is very expensive. He is looking forward to his day in court and knows his innocence will be proven but he needs your help to get there. Please donate whatever you can. Every little bit helps.

What's at stake here: Please help us continue to fight for proper justice and the American liberties we all love. Please do not let this attack on Hopkins, the county Sheriff and the SBI continue. Because when you break it down, that is exactly what District Attorneys Tom Horner and Garry Frank are saying is happening here. The Ashe County DA that investigated Hopkins and began the prosecution, Tom Horner, was friends with deceased man and his family, and he is effectively saying that the Sheriff's office and the SBI are involved in a conspiracy to cover up the man's death. Those are outrageous accusations. There is no cover up going on and it is shameful that the DA's office is making that under-handed accusation.

Ask yourself this: Why would Hopkins have been cleared of any wrongdoing by multiple local and state agencies if anything improper had occurred? If there was anything improper, why would Hopkins be allowed to go back to work as a patrol deputy for a year now? Why would the Sheriff's office and the SBI not be informed of the indictment? Why when Hopkins spoke to them, would the Sheriff and the SBI say that they have never seen a prosecution like this in their lives? Why would Hopkins have not been informed of the indictment until he found out on Facebook? Why would the DA's office be seeking life in prison plus 20 years?

What are the chances: The chances of there being any wrongdoing and a cover-up are 10 million to one. It just is not impossible folks. Hopkins is being made the scapegoat of some kind of personal and political agenda. This needs to end. Otherwise no police officer is safe anywhere from wrongful prosecution.

What we are ultimately fighting for: Please help us put an end to this awful idea of a multi-level statewide conspiracy and this shameful attack on the integrity of the law enforcement community everywhere. Help us continue to protect the rights and lives of all law enforcement officers throughout the United States. We will win this fight with your help. Thank you and God bless!

U.S. Supreme Court's legal standard for use of lethal force: According to Graham v. Connor, the landmark 1989 case that established the standard, each "use of force must be judged from the perspective of a reasonable officer on the scene, rather than with the 20/20 vision of hindsight." The ruling specifically cautions against judging police too harshly for split-second decisions made in "tense, uncertain and rapidly evolving" situations. The Supreme Court's standard for the use of lethal force is clearly being ignored in this case and there is a gross conflict-of-interest on behalf of the district attorney that investigated Deputy Hopkins and initiated the charges.

Video news updates about the case:

Here is why we are fighting for the rights and lives of all police officers. This will continue to happen if police are afraid to defend themselves:

All proceeds from this fundraiser go to the legal defense of Deputy Josh Hopkins: This campaign will automatically transfer your credit card contributions to Deputy Hopkins's WePay account. From there he can transfer the funds to his bank account to pay for his attorney. His attorney estimated the cost of the legal defense to be $80,000.

Please share the press release below with agencies that can spread the word.



Heroic Deputy Sheriff Charged with Murder After Being Fully Cleared

Sheriff's Office and State Bureau of Investigation back deputy's full innocence while district attorney, a friend of deceased man, wants life plus 20 years in prison.

Jefferson, North Carolina - October 8, 2016 - Former star-personality of the National Geographic Channel television show Southern Justice, Deputy Sheriff Josh "Hoppy" Hopkins, 29, and a second deputy, were fully cleared of any wrongdoing by the Ashe County Sheriff's Office and the State Bureau of Investigation (SBI) for their roles in the fatal shooting of Dallas Shatley, 62, on the night of July 8, 2015.

Now, in an unprecedented action for the region, the Ashe County District Attorney, Tom Horner, a friend of the deceased man, has in-essence initiated the claim of a cover-up conspiracy including Deputy Hopkins, the Sheriff's Office and the SBI.

After a year of private investigation, in the eleventh hour, Horner handed the case to DA Garry Frank, of Davidson County, who filed second degree murder and assault with a deadly weapon charges against Deputy Hopkins. Frank has stated that he is seeking life plus 20 years in prison for Hopkins. A wildly aggressive move for a DA that recently absorbed, in partnership with DA Horner's office, the felony prosecution of its assistant district attorney, Wendy Joyce Terry, on charges of corruption.

"If this precedent is allowed to set, no officer will be safe from wrongful prosecution," said a police advocacy group supporting Deputy Hopkins.

"All forensic evidence and body camera videos were thoroughly reviewed by the Sheriff's Office and the SBI before the deputies were cleared of any wrongdoing and put back on patrol a month later. Why would they do that if the shooting wasn't justified? The suspect dragged Hopkins with his truck. He also had a loaded gun. The deputies had no choice. It seems like the prosecution is trying to make a name for himself. Or maybe clear his name with all the felony corruption and inter-office sexual affairs, threats and violence that went on at DA Garry Frank's office in the last couple years," said the group.

Both the Sheriff's Office and the SBI continue to support the full innocence of Deputy Hopkins and the second deputy that also fired in defense of Hopkins's life. The suspect dragged Hopkins up to 40 yards with a truck and then was about to run him over after Hopkins was flung to the ground. The deputies fired at the truck after seeing it kick into drive as Hopkins rose from the ground in front of it. The suspect was also in possession of a loaded high-powered rifle, forcing the deputies to neutralize two lethal threats in his control, the truck and the rifle.

"It was the bravest thing I ever saw," said a third deputy at the scene.

“We’ve been called there many times over the past few years,” said Ashe County Sheriff James Williams. “When officers arrived on the scene, they encountered the individual belligerent. Apparently alcohol was involved. There was a weapon in the vehicle at some point. They were trying to get the weapon out of the vehicle and one of the officers wound up being dragged by the vehicle with the individual driving the vehicle backwards. There were shots fired as a result of that.”

Williams added that deputies have been dispatched to Dallas Shatley’s residence 89 times since 2010.
Joel C. Ackerman
Los Angeles, CA. U.S.A.
Ph: (213) 909-2851




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