Daughter of accused South Carolina cop killer arrested for assaulting a police officer, other charges

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FLORENCE, SC – The daughter of accused officer killer Fred Hopkins was arrested Friday evening and faces several charges, including assault on a law enforcement officer.

31-year-old Kellie Nicole Hopkins was booked into the Florence County Detention Center on charges of  assault/beat/wound police serving process or while resisting arrest, assault and battery third degree, and public disorderly conduct. The Florence County Sheriff’s Office is listed as the arresting agency.

WBTW 8 in Florence, South Carolina explained that through their research on Hopkins, it is confirmed that Kellie is the daughter of Fred Hopkins. Booking records also show Kellie has the same address, on Ashton Drive in west Florence, as the location of the October 2018 deadly officer shooting.

Fred Hopkins was arrested for the 2018 shooting, and was noted to have bragged online about being a “competitive shooter.”  The senior Hopkins is 76 years old and a disbarred attorney. 

The arrest comes hours after Fred appeared in a courtroom in connection with that shooting. At one point Friday, Fred told a judge in court that he didn’t want “a dime” of his assets going to the victims.

Officials said, in October 2018, deputies went to Hopkins’ home to interview his 28-year-old son, Seth Hopkins, about allegations of sex crimes against a child when the older Hopkins allegedly started shooting at officers.

Two officers, Florence County Sheriff’s Office Investigator Farrah Turner and Florence Police Sergeant Terrence Carraway, were killed. Five other officers were wounded. Fred Hopkins is in a Columbia jail awaiting a jury trial.  Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty.

In 2019, Fred Hopkin’s son, Seth Hopkins, pleaded guilty to one count of second-degree criminal sexual conduct with a minor. Seth was sentenced to 20 years in prison, minus time served of 437 days.

Previous reports obtained by WBTW 8 indicate that Fred Hopkins called law enforcement on his daughter Kellie in May 2017 to report that she had taken his truck without his permission. He then declined to press charges.

More on Fred Hopkins:

Hopkins is a disabled Vietnam-era veteran.  In reference to his legal defense, a judge previously found him not to be indigent, meaning he was not to be found poor, and Hopkins said he wants the court to reconsider that.

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

In the end, Judge Eugene Griffith Junior said he will direct Hopkins’ daughter to create a good faith and fact-based inventory of his assets to be considered by the court. His daughter will have 30 days to produce the inventory. 

Unfortunately, the arrest of Kellie Hopkins now provides a roadblock to the furtherance of Fred Hopkin’s case.

Concerning his disbarment, records from the South Carolina Bar Association indicated that Frederick Hopkins was disbarred in 1984. His name was given as Frederick T. Hopkins, Jr. According to Greenville News, Hopkins lost his law license “for wrongfully collecting $18,000 in attorney fees” and went to jail but avoided serving the full six months when he gave up his law license and paid the money back.

In a strange twist, Fred Hopkins was previously married to a woman named Carol.  His current wife, Cheryl, represented him during the divorce from Carol.  Hopkins was ordered to pay child support of $350.00 per month. In November 1986, he was “found to be $18,693.00 in arrears in his child support, and an order garnishing $432.60 per month of his military disability payments was entered.”

Although details of daughter Kellie’s arrest are few, it will be interesting to see how this all plays out in court.  She’s involved, somewhat, in his defense, but now she isn’t available.  And she needs a defense of her own. 

Luckily, the officers she assaulted weren’t seriously injured.

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Here’s the original story and an update involving this family:

Second South Carolina Officer from Florence Ambush Dies

October 23, 2018

FLORENCE, SC – A second South Carolina officer has died after being hit by gunfire in the shooting that injured or killed seven law enforcement officers.

Officer Terrence Carraway was murdered in the Oct. 3 shooting, and now Deputy Farrah B. Turner has passed away. She died Monday, according to Florence County Sheriff Kenney Boone.

“Farrah was the ultimate professional, excelling at everything she did,” Boone said in a news release. “She dedicated her life to serving the victims of the worst crimes imaginable. Please pray for Farrah’s family, our FCSO family and for our community as we mourn her loss.”

second South Carolina officer
Deputy Farrah B. Turner. (GoFundMe)
South Carolina police officer
Fallen Officer Terrence Carraway. (Facebook/ODMP)

Turner was “mortally wounded in the line of duty while attempting to serve a search warrant on a residence in Florence County on Oct. 3,” according to the sheriff’s office.

Earlier Monday, Turner’s mother released a statement that the deputy was fighting for her life, The State reported. Turner had her feet amputated, according to her mother, Katie Goodwin.

Turner’s legs were severely wounded in the shooting, WPDE reported. According to a GoFundMe account set up for her, Turner had undergone eight operations, before dying Monday, reported The State.

Turner was one of two deputies still in the hospital after the shootout. Florence Police Department public information officer Mike Brandt said Sgt. Scott Williamson is recovering at a medical facility in Georgia, per WPDE. Two other deputies — Sarah Miller and Arie Davis — were released from the hospital over the weekend.

The shootout started shortly after investigators from the Florence County Sheriff’s Department arrived to serve a warrant on Seth David Hopkins. He was a suspect in a case involving criminal sexual conduct with a minor.

As deputies arrived, Seth Hopkins’ adopted father, Fred Hopkins Jr., opened fire, shooting at deputies with a pistol and two military assault rifles, the Associated Press reported. More than 400 rounds were fired, according to Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott, whose department is leading the investigation.

“They got out of the car, and they were shot before they got to the door,” Lott said, according to The State. “These officers did absolutely nothing wrong. This was an ambush you can’t prevent.”

As a result, Fred Hopkins, 74, was arrested following a two-hour shootout. Following his arrest, he was charged with six counts of attempted murder and one count of murder. In all likelihood, the charges will be amended following the death of Turner.

denied bond
Fred Hopkins, left, and son Seth. (Florence County Sheriff’s Office)

Seth Hopkins was also arrested and charged with two counts of criminal sexual conduct with a minor.

Turner worked in law enforcement for 12 years after graduating from Lake City High School and Francis Marion University, scnow.com reported. She worked as a school resource officer at Brockington Elementary School, Johnson Middle School and Timmonsville High School.

South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster shared his condolences on Twitter.

“We are heartbroken tonight to lose another officer as a result of the horrific shooting in Florence. Investigator Farrah B. Turner passed away from her injuries after fighting for her life for more than two weeks,” McMaster tweeted. “Please join me and Peggy in praying for her family and loved ones through this difficult hour.”

The Republican’s opponent in the November election also shared his condolences.

“The horrific, murderous rampage in Florence earlier this month has taken another brave soul from us,” Democrat James Smith posted on Facebook. Running mate Mandy Powers Norrell “and I offer our deepest condolences to her family, although we know nothing can adequately pay tribute to the sacrifice they have laid on the altar of public safety.”

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