WEST JEFFERSON-An autopsy of a Crumpler man who died in an officer involved shooting last year has yielded new details in the case and the circumstances surrounding his death.
A postmortem toxilogic analysis of Dallas Arthur Shatley, 62, detected elevated levels of ethanol – 150 mg/dl – in tissue taken from Shatley’s eye. That information comes from reports delivered to the Jefferson Post from the N.C. Office of the Chief Medical Examiner.
Ethanol is the active agent in beer, wine, vodka, whiskey, rum and other liquors. Ethanol is the single most important substance of abuse in the United States, according to the Mayo Clinic.
Shatley’s ethanol reading exceeded the legal limit of intoxication, which is 80 mg/dl, levels frequently associated with a loss of manual dexterity and with sedation, according to the Mayo Clinic. Toxic concentration, however, is dependent upon individual usage history.
A deadly incident
Shatley was shot by Ashe County Sheriff’s Office deputies on July 8, 2015, after he allegedly confronted the officers who were responding to a disturbance.
The incident was reported around 10 p.m. in Crumpler on Shatley Road, just off of Highway 16.
According to previous statements by Ashe County Sheriff James Williams, a deputy was dragged by a vehicle driven by Shatley and shots were fired.
The state’s autopsy reports reveal that Shatley was shot in the right and left upper parts of the chest. These shots caused injuries to the lungs, stomach and spleen.
He also sustained grazing gunshot wounds to his left hand and blunt force injuries to his head and torso, the report said.
The ACSO said later that Deputies Christopher Roten, Joshua Hopkins and Brandon Miller had been involved in the incident, but the agency declined to say which of the deputies had allegedly been dragged prior to the shooting.
The three deputies were placed on administrative leave, but were reinstated the week of Aug. 17.
In Sept. 2015, District Attorney Tom Horner announced that he would no longer be involved in the case due to his close relationship with the Shatley family. The case was then handed over to District Attorney Garry Frank of Davie and Davidson counties.
Hopkins, a popular figure on the National Geographic Channel’s Southern Justice reality series, later took a job with the Carter County Sheriff’s Department in Elizabethton, Tenn.
Email and voicemails seeking comment on the status of the shooting investigation left for Frank were not returned at press-time.
Shatley’s death was the second involved officer shooting for the sheriff’s department in less than three years.
In Nov. 2013, officers shot and killed Walter Mark Houck in Glendale Springs. Three law enforcement officers in that shooting, including Hopkins, were later exonerated.
Reach Jesse Campbell at 336-846-7164.