Man accused of ambushing Florence officers tells judge he doesn’t want a dime going to victims

Fred Hopkins appears in court as a judge considers if he will undergo a mental health...
Fred Hopkins appears in court as a judge considers if he will undergo a mental health evaluation (Source: WMBF News)
Updated: Dec. 11, 2020 at 12:48 PM EST
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FLORENCE, S.C. (WMBF) - The man accused of killing two Florence law enforcement officers and injuring five others was in court Friday following a postponement due to an issue with the transportation order.

The hearing for Fred Hopkins was held completely virtually and the defendant reported to it over the web from the Alvin S Glenn Detention Center in Richland County, where he’s being held.

Friday’s hearing was a continuation of Hopkins’ claim that he’s indigent and needs an attorney appointed to his case.

During Hopkins’ last hearing, he was told by Judge Eugene Griffith to request his daughter get a list of his assets to determine his ability to pay for an attorney.

Griffith says over the last two months Hopkins’ daughter has been unwilling to participate and hasn’t been helpful to the defendant or the judge.

The judge then recommended Hopkins have a receiver, likely a civil attorney, hold his assets, thereby making him indigent, and possibly have the money from the assets distributed to the victims in the case.

Hopkins told the judge he didn’t want a dime going to the victims, but after a discussion he agreed to having a receiver hold his belongings.

With Hopkins now considered indigent, he is being appointed two attorneys due to the state seeking the death penalty. He’ll be represented by Ron Hazzard of the 15th Circuit and an attorney from the capitol division of the Office of Indigent Defense, it was announced during Friday’s hearing.

Griffith told Hopkins he received a motion for an immunity hearing and hopefully it can be heard sometime before the jury trial takes place.

Hopkins allegedly ambushed officers at his home in the Vintage Place subdivision on Oct. 3, 2018, as they were serving a search warrant on his son Seth Hopkins on child sex abuse allegations.

Florence police Sgt. Terrence Carraway was shot and killed at the scene. Florence County Sheriff’s Office Inv. Farrah Turner died a few weeks later from her injuries. Five other law enforcement officers were injured in the ambush.

Seth Hopkins pleaded guilty to a charge of second-degree criminal sexual conduct with a minor in December 2019 and was sentenced to 20 years in prison.

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