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Alleged shooter in Florence ambush was a disbarred lawyer

October 4, 2018

FLORENCE, S.C. – The alleged shooter of multiple Florence police officers was a disbarred lawyer.

Records from the South Carolina Bar Association show Frederick T. Hopkins Jr. was admitted to the bar on Nov. 11, 1980. The bar association does not list what law school Hopkins attended or when he graduated. However, it is common for graduates of law school to be admitted to the bar in the fall following their graduation.

Hopkins was disbarred by an order of the South Carolina Supreme Court on June 22, 1984 with his consent.

The order says that Hopkins was ordered on April 17, 1984 by the Lexington County Probate Court to pay approximately $18,000 in wrongfully collected attorney’s fees resulting from a tort and insurance claim of a Lexington County woman. The order says that Hopkins did not fully comply with the court’s order of April 17, 1984 but did pay $4,600 to the woman on or about June 4, 1984.

On June 5, 1984, Hopkins was found to be in contempt of court and sentenced to six months in jail or until Hopkins “purged” himself of all matters involved.

“This matter is now before the Court to upon the request of the Respondent [Hopkins] that the Court suspend the jail term to allow the Respondent time to purge himself of the contempt,” the order continues. “The Respondent, Frederick T. Hopkins Jr., has tendered his consent to disbarment in accordance with Section 27 of the Rule on Disciplinary Procedure.”

Hopkins also agreed to immediately pay by certified check the sum of $5,000 to the Lexington County Probate Court. The remaining amount due of $8,400 was to be paid within 60 days of June 22, 1984. Hopkins’ wife, Cheryl Turner Hopkins, also an attorney, agreed to be jointly and severally liable for the debt.

The alleged shooter Wednesday was taken into custody after a two-hour standoff with law enforcement officers. In the incident, six officers were shot, one fatally.

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