JEFFERSON-A former Ashe County Sheriff’s Office deputy was indicted Wednesday in last summer’s shooting death of Dallas Shatley.
The charges were announced in open court Wednesday in Jefferson.
That news comes from Ashe County Sheriff James Williams and Davidson County District Attorney Garry Frank who is handling the investigation.
Former ACSO Deputy Joshua Hopkins was charged with second degree murder and assault with a deadly weapon intent to kill inflicting serious bodily injury.
Frank said Wednesday a North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation agent was asked to contact Hopkins earlier this week in regards to the charges, Hopkins did not return messages and was not present in court Wednesday.
“He wasn’t in court at 11 a.m. (Wednesday) which led to today’s proceedings,” Frank said.
Williams said he expects the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation to serve the warrant and bring Hopkins into custody.
“I expect he also won’t be held in our facility,” Williams said. “The bond is supposed to be set at $250,000 secured.”
Shatley, 62, 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 Williams, a deputy was dragged by a vehicle driven by Shatley and shots were fired.
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, 2015.
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.
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.
Williams said Frank brought the evidence of his investigation before a grand jury in Ashe County on Monday.
“Mr. Frank decided to let the grand jury make the decision on the case, brought a bill of indictment and the grand jury made the call that was a true bill of indictment,” Williams said.
Williams said he was not notified beforehand regarding the charges.
“I was in Myrtle Beach and blindsided by it,” Williams said. “I thought it was disrespectful not to at least give a heads up, but it is what it is.”
Neither Williams nor Frank would comment further on the charges.
Reach Adam Orr at 336-489-3058.
Correction: Davidson County District Attorney Garry Frank said only Joshua Hopkin’s actions were considered by this week’s grand jury.