JEFFERSON-Since Dallas Shatley, 62, of Crumpler, was shot dead in a police altercation 19 months ago, a community has become divided over his possible guilt or presumed innoncence, as a backdrop of controversy centered on excessive force by police officers nationwide has set the stage for his Feb. 6 court date.
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 Shatley 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.
Since his death, speculation within the community loomed as the district attorney’s office investigation stretched past the one-year anniversary of the shooting.
Then, in September, investigators made their first major announcement in the case: the arrest of Joshua “Hoppy” Hopkins.
Hopkins was charged with second degree murder and assault with a deadly weapon intent to kill inflicting serious bodily injury.
Since his arrest, a whirlwind of scrutiny on law enforcement and conjecture by others in the county erupted as locals clamored for more details into the shooting and who was really at fault.
While others pointed fingers, some took up online charitable causes on the behalf of the embattled officer. Other national pro police organizations also spoke up for Hoppy. All the while, more questions than answers remained.
Beginning on Monday, some of these answers might finally be answered as Hoppy is scheduled to appear in Ashe County Superior Court on Monday. There is a possibility his case could be continued in Ashe or even another county. In any event, the Jefferson Post will provide up-to-date daily coverage of the trial and proceedings. Check daily for updates pertaining to this and other high profile cases.
Reach Jesse Campbell at (336) 846-7164.