Accused killer of Florence police officer denied request for public defender

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FLORENCE, SC (WBTW) – The man accused of gunning down seven Florence law enforcement officers, killing one, attempted to acquire a public defender Tuesday morning.

Judge Thomas A. Russo heard the request from accused murderer Frederick T. Hopkins, Jr., 74, who is charged with the murder of Sgt. Terrence Carraway and six counts of attempted murder related to the shootings of three other officers, a Florence County deputy and two Florence County investigators.

Judge Russo denied Hopkins’ request for appointed counsel citing the income of the alleged killer’s wife. The judge said Hopkins was not limited in means and could afford his own attorney. 

Hopkins argued that he doesn’t personally make enough money to hire an attorney and he doesn’t have access to his wife’s money.

“Even though we’ve technically filed jointly, I never get to really see her (wife) income, or anything like that,” claimed to accused killer. “She keeps her stuff separate from mine.”

The Richland County Sheriff’s Office plans to host a press conference on Tuesday afternoon at 3 p.m. in Florence with the latest on the investigation of the Oct. 3 shooting.

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