Accused mass shooter returning to Florence County for court hearing Wednesday

Accused mass shooter returning to Florence County for court hearing Wednesday

FLORENCE, S.C. (WMBF) - The man accused in the 2018 Vintage Place shootings, which took the lives of two law enforcement officers, will be back in Florence County for court Wednesday morning.

Public index records show an order for transportation was filed on Sep. 11 to bring Fred Hopkins back to Florence County from the Alvin S. Glenn Detention Center in Richland County where he is being held for his own safety.

It’s been nearly two years since Hopkins was accused of ambushing officers at his home in the Vintage Place subdivision as they were serving a search warrant on his son Seth Hopkins on child sex abuse allegations.

Florence police Sgt. Terrence Carraway was shot and killed at the scene. Florence County Sheriff’s Office Inv. Farrah Turner died a few weeks later from her injuries. Five other law enforcement officers were injured in the ambush.

Due to a gag order associated with the case, the purpose of Wednesday’s hearing is unknown.

This will be Hopkins’s first court appearance since Jun. 11, where he received notice the state would be seeking the death penalty for his charges.

RELATED COVERAGE | State seeks death penalty against man accused of killing two Florence officers, injuring five others

At June’s hearing, Hopkins told presiding judge Michael Nettles he had no right to present him with the death notice.

“The sole purpose of this hearing is to give you notice you will have two appointed," said Nettles.

“I was explaining that you have no jurisdiction to give me that notice," interrupted Hopkins.

Hopkins, who did not have an attorney with him, repeatedly insulted Solicitor Ed Clements referring to Clements as “fat Eddie”.

He then claimed Clements and the magistrate’s office mishandled his case.

“I was denied a preliminary hearing by your connivance and your corrupt staff, point number one. Point number two, Kimberly Cox Assistant Chief Magistrate says well we’re going to deem your request be excused as a waiver of your right to have a preliminary hearing, I didn’t wave anything,” said Hopkins.

The hearing will begin at 9 a.m. and WMBF News will keep you updated on the case.

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