South Carolina man pleads guilty to ambush that killed 2 officers and wounded 5

Oct 12, 2023, 2:27 PM | Updated: 2:38 pm

AIKEN, S.C. (AP) — A 79-year-old South Carolina man avoided a possible death sentence Thursday by agreeing to plead guilty to ambushing police officers coming to his home, killing two of the officers and wounding five others.

Frederick Hopkins court appearance was unannounced and reporters following the widely publicized case were not in the courtroom in Aiken County, some 120 miles (169 kilometers) from where the October 2018 attack took place.

Hopkins was charged with two counts of murder and five counts of attempted murder.

Hopkins will be sentenced later, but his attorney Boyd Young told media outlets after the hearing that prosecutors agreed to take the death penalty off the table. Hopkins would face 30 years to life in prison for murder.

Three Florence County deputies told Hopkins they were coming to his home in an upscale subdivision to execute a search warrant against his son for possible sexual abuse charges.

Hopkins, a decorated Vietnam War veteran, armed himself in a upstairs window and fired at the deputies as they got out of their car. He kept shooting as more officers rushed to the scene to save their comrades.

So many rounds were fired with such powerful weapons that it took up to 30 minutes to get an armored vehicle close enough to rescue the wounded officers. He used three firearms in the ambush, and more than 100 guns were found in his home.

Florence Police Sgt. Terrence Carraway died the day of the shooting and Florence County Sheriff’s deputy Farrah Turner died nearly three weeks later from her wounds.

The son, 33-year-old Seth Hopkins, pleaded guilty in 2019 to second-degree criminal sexual conduct with a minor and is serving 20 years in prison.

Frederick Hopkins’ lawyers, prosecutors and the judge have kept much of the case away from reporters. In June, they all agreed to close the courtroom from the media and the public during pre-trial hearings and kept all motions and records off South Carolina’s public court records site.

When cameras have been at Hopkins hearings, his behavior has been erratic. A disbarred attorney, Hopkins called prosecutor Ed Clements “Fat Eddie” several times during a hearing where the prosecution announced they would seek the death penalty and Hopkins did not have a lawyer present.

In a later hearing, Hopkins was in a wheelchair and had a device to help him hear the proceedings.

United States News

Associated Press

There was a fatal shooting at this year’s ‘Jeep Week’ event on Texas Gulf Coast. Here’s what to know

CRYSTAL BEACH, Texas (AP) — A popular event drew tens of thousands of visitors over the weekend to Texas Gulf Coast beaches, where a fatal shooting erupted and nearly 300 people were arrested, authorities said Monday. Three separate shootings were reported Saturday on the Bolivar Peninsula during the annual “Jeep Week” event, including one that […]

43 minutes ago

Associated Press

Bankruptcy judge approves Genesis Global plan to refund $3 billion to creditors, crypto customers

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — A bankruptcy court judge has approved a plan by the cryptocurrency lender Genesis Global to return about $3 billion to its creditors and investors, including thousands of people who New York regulators say were defrauded by the company. The plan and settlement approved Friday by Judge Sean H. Lane includes up […]

1 hour ago

Associated Press

Billionaire rains cash on UMass graduates to tune of $1,000 each, but says they must give half away

MEREDITH, N.H. (AP) — The clouds weren’t alone in making it rain on the commencement ceremony at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth last week. On stage, billionaire philanthropist Rob Hale surprised the graduating class of more than 1,000 by pointing to a nearby truck holding envelopes stuffed with cash. Huddling under ponchos and umbrellas at […]

1 hour ago

Associated Press

California county’s farm bureau sues over state monitoring of groundwater

HANFORD, Calif. (AP) — A lawsuit has been filed over California’s decision to take over monitoring groundwater use in part of the fertile San Joaquin Valley under a landmark law aimed at protecting the vital resource. The Kings County Farm Bureau and two landowners filed a lawsuit last week over a decision by the State […]

3 hours ago

Associated Press

Judge rules Ohio law that keeps cities from banning flavored tobacco is unconstitutional

An Ohio law prohibiting cities from banning the sale of flavored tobacco products is unconstitutional, a judge has ruled. The state is expected to appeal the ruling issued Friday by Franklin County Common Pleas Court Judge Mark Serrott, who had issued a temporary restraining order in April that stopped the law from taking effect. The […]

5 hours ago

Associated Press

University of California academic workers strike to stand up for pro-Palestinian protesters

SANTA CRUZ, California (AP) — Graduate students at the University of California, Santa Cruz walked off their jobs and went on strike Monday, the first campus to do so as part of a systemwide protest against a public university they say has violated the speech rights of pro-Palestinian advocates. United Auto Workers Local 4811 represents […]

5 hours ago

Sponsored Articles



Desert Institute for Spine Care is the place for weekend warriors to fix their back pain

Spring has sprung and nothing is better than March in Arizona. The temperatures are perfect and with the beautiful weather, Arizona has become a hotbed for hikers, runners, golfers, pickleball players and all types of weekend warriors.


DISC Desert Institute for Spine Care

Sciatica pain is treatable but surgery may be required

Sciatica pain is one of the most common ailments a person can face, and if not taken seriously, it could become one of the most harmful.


Collins Comfort Masters

Here’s 1 way to ensure your family is drinking safe water

Water is maybe one of the most important resources in our lives, and especially if you have kids, you want them to have access to safe water.

South Carolina man pleads guilty to ambush that killed 2 officers and wounded 5