CARTER COUNTY, TN (WJHL) – Carter County Sheriff Dexter Lunceford said the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation contacted him this morning to let him know Deputy Joshua Hopkins had been charged with second-degree murder and assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill.
“I got a call this [Wednesday] morning from the State Bureau of Investigation in North Carolina advising that an officer that works here, Josh Hopkins, had been indicted in Ashe County, NC for second-degree murder involving a shooting when he worked for the sheriff’s office there,” said Luncefored.
Lunceford told News Channel 11 he immediately called Hopkins who had worked a graveyard shift and was unaware he had been charged.
Lunceford said Hopkins planned to turn himself in to authorities in North Carolina, and he said Hopkins would be placed on administrative leave while the case moves forward.
A grand jury returned a True Bill for indictment on Monday, September 26. A warrant for his arrest was issued by the State of North Carolina on Wednesday.
The name Joshua Hopkins may sound familiar as he has spent the past five years as a deputy in Ashe County and gained popularity for his role in the National Geographic show.
“We did a thorough background prior to hiring him,” said Lunceford. “He’s been here about a year and a half. He was released by the State Bureau of Investigation and the sheriff to go back to work. The sheriff indicated to us at the time that he gave the highest recommendation you can give someone and he would’ve hired him back.”
According to the state’s Bureau of Investigation, former Ashe County deputies Josh Hopkins and Christopher Roten responded to a disturbance call on July 8, 2015 on Shatley Road when Dallas Shatley was shot and killed.
The state set Hopkins bond at $250,000. If Hopkins is unable to make bond, a warrant says he will be housed at a detention facility other than the Ashe County Jail.
Sheriff Lunceford told News Channel 11 he was shocked.
“He’s done a great job….We will be cooperating fully with North Carolina authorities. I would encourage him to do the same,” said Lunceford.
When Hopkins learned that there was a warrant for his arrest, Lunceford says, he was surprised. “But of course, he says hes innocent,” said Lunceford.
News Channel 11 is following this story. We’ll post the latest details as soon as they become available.
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