Endangerment charges dismissed in drunk driving case
by Cris Ritchie
HAZARD – Two felony counts filed against a Pike County man were dismissed this week after the alleged victim in the case expressed her desire to see the charges dropped.
Jimmy Hopkins, 52, of Elkhorn City, was indicted in March 2012 on charges of DUI first offense and two counts of first-degree wanton endangerment. He was alleged to have been driving under the influence on Nov. 9, 2011, when he crashed into another vehicle occupied by two people, according to the indictment.
During an appearance in Perry Circuit Court on Thursday, Commonwealth’s Attorney John Hansen noted the victim in the case agreed with a plea bargain that would see both felony counts of wanton endangerment dismissed, if Hopkins pleaded guilty to the misdemeanor DUI charge. The victim also penned a letter in which she said she and her daughter were not injured in the crash, and she did not wish to press charges.
Judge William Engle accepted the agreement, in which Hopkins entered his guilty plea in exchange for a sentence of seven days in addition to a $350 fine and several hours of driving school. He was given credit for time already served prior to his plea, and scheduled for release from jail on Thursday.
Plea deals were announced or sentences handed down in several other cases on Thursday. Anthony King, 33, of Kite, Ky., was sentenced to one year on charges of first-degree possession of a controlled substance, first-degree promoting contraband, and possession of drug paraphernalia. King was indicted in July 2011 for illegally possessing oxymorphone in April of that year, and attempting to introduce the drug into the Kentucky River Regional Jail in Hazard.
Stacy Campbell, 41, entered an Alford Plea on one count of an amended charge of second-degree criminal mischief. She was charged with intentionally damaging a pickup on April 2012. An Alford Plea means Campbell maintains her innocence in the case while admitting the evidence against her would likely lead to a conviction. She will be sentenced at a later date to two years of diversion, and will be required to pay restitution to the victim.
James J. Fultz, 26, of Hazard, was sentenced to serve three years in prison following a probation violation. He was originally indicted in August 2012 on a charge of second-degree burglary, which was amended to third-degree burglary during a plea agreement.
Joshua Adams, 33, entered guilty pleas in two separate cases in exchange for a sentence of three years to serve. He was indicted in 2012 on charges of unauthorized procurement of a controlled substance, two counts of third-degree possession of a controlled substance, one count of first-degree possession, one count of illegal possession of legend drug, and one count of first-degree promoting contraband. He was alleged to have falsely called in a prescription on June 13, 2012.
Adams entered a guilty plea in a second case dating back to 2010 in which he was alleged to have escaped from home incarceration. He was charged with second-degree escape and theft over $500. He pleaded guilty to both counts, and will be formally sentenced in both cases on Aug. 1.
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