Deputy charged with 2nd degree murder: 'I'll be back' - | WBTV Charlotte

Deputy charged with 2nd degree murder: 'I'll be back'

(Steve Ohnesorge | WBTV) (Steve Ohnesorge | WBTV)

A former Ashe County Sheriff's deputy turned himself in to his old department in Jefferson Thursday after being indicted on a charge of second degree murder. He is currently a deputy in Carter County, Tennessee.

Joshua Hopkins is accused of shooting and killing 62-year-old Dallas Shatley in July of 2015 in Ashe County while in the line of duty. It happened after Hopkins responded to a disturbance call in nearby Crumpler. 

Authorities at the time said three deputies, including Hopkins, were at the scene when Shatley confronted them and dragged one deputy with his vehicle. That's when shots rang out. 

The deputies were placed on administrative leave and an internal investigation cleared them. All returned to duty in August. 

The SBI, however, continued its probe into what happened and on Monday the report was presented to the Grand Jury. Hopkins was indicted on one count of assault with a deadly weapon and one count of second degree murder.

Shortly after turning himself in, Hopkins was escorted to the courthouse for an appearance before a judge. On the way, he expressed gratitude to all who are supporting him.

"Thank you," he said. "I love this job and I will be back."

He is still technically a law enforcement officer in Tennessee. His department there has granted him a leave to take care of his legal issues. 

Hopkins' attorney, Jay Vannoy, believes the evidence will show that the shooting of Shately was justified.

"He will be vindicated," said Vannoy.

Sheriff James Williams said there is body-camera video of the incident, but it is in the hands of the SBI and would not be released at this time. 

Hopkins' next court date is set for December 5. In the meantime he is free on a $250,000 bond.

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