Yadkinville, NC – Tennessee Deputy Joshua “Hoppy” Hopkins was found not guilty Monday of second-degree murder charges in the death of a North Carolina man.
Hopkins rose to fame during National Geographic’s “Southern Justice” reality show. Hopkins is now a deputy in Carter County, Tennessee, according to WJHL-TV.
Deputy Hopkins was charged in September of 2015 in the killing of Dallas Shatley who died when police responded a disturbance call.
During the incident, Shatley dragged Hopkins 40 yards with a truck and was about to turn around and run him over after Hopkins was thrown to the ground. The deputies fired on the truck after watching it kick into drive.
Shatley also had a loaded high-powered rifle in the car with him. The police had been dispatched to Shatley’s residence 89 times from 2010 to 2015.
Hopkins was cleared of any wrongdoing by the Ashe County Sheriff’s Office as well as the State Bureau of Investigation for his actions in the July 8, 2015 shooting of Shatley.
However, Ashe County District Attorney Tom Horner, a friend of Shatley, still filed second-degree murder charges against Hopkins.
Carter County Sheriff Dexter Lunceford hired Deputy Hopkins to work with his department before before the legal proceedings began. Deputy Hopkins was then placed on administrative leave.
Sheriff Lunceford told WCYB-TV that he would talk with Deputy Hopkins to discuss consideration of being reinstated.
The jury received the case on Friday and reached the verdict by mid-afternoon Monday, according to WCYB.
"We have to look at all the factors in that situation when we have our talk," Sheriff Lunceford said. "It appears the jury came to a quick verdict and think that helps his situation. It's a good indicator for him."