Wednesday, March 12, 2003

Man pleads not guilty in shooting of girlfriend

Mother of his children had moved out

By Jim Hannah
The Cincinnati Enquirer

[photo] Michael Hopkins (left) is directed to his seat by Boone County Deputy Sheriff Chester Snow for arraignment on murder charges in the shooting death of his girlfriend.
(Patrick Reddy photo)
| ZOOM |
BURLINGTON - Sobbing as the charges against him were read, Michael Hopkins appeared in court Tuesday, accused of gunning down the mother of his children.

Hopkins, 20, of Florence pleaded not guilty to murder and tampering with evidence. His bond was set at $2 million.

"With the facts and circumstances surrounding the case," said County Attorney J.R. Schrand, "I think the high bond was appropriate."

Authorities say Hopkins shot Crystal Smith, 22-- who had lived with Hopkins on Celtic Ash Drive but recently moved out to a nearby apartment -- once in the head on Monday. Hopkins was arrested shortly after the shooting at an acquaintance's home. Two guns were recovered in the trash bin at the apartment complex where the pair lived.

Smith's family members, who attended Hopkins' arraignment on Tuesday, said the estranged couple had been fighting.

They said Smith had recently moved out of an apartment she shared with Hopkins to a friend's apartment two doors down. The shooting took place at the door of the friend's apartment. Police said Hopkins was inside the friend's apartment and shot Smith when she entered at about noon on Monday. At least two people witnessed the shooting, police said.

It wasn't immediately clear how many children the couple had together.

He also said police have opened a second investigation after a search of Hopkins' apartment turned up drugs.


Suspected heroin deaths push fear into the suburbs
Drugs rob couple of son, grandson in four-day span
Bill would allow parents to intervene
Japanese students learn and teach
Unidentified hunk of metal hits home
No easy fix for uninsured woes

Grants would clean up brownfield
'Vagina Monologues' canceled at Xavier over content issues
Biotech cooperation critical, meeting told
Obituary: Harry Mark Jr., UC professor
Tristate A.M. Report

SMITH AMOS: What really matters
BRONSON: Boycott chicken
KORTE: City Hall
HOWARD: Some Good News

Mason court adds 5 positions
Pierce Township denied police levy
Hutzel keeps her new position
Sewer denial aimed at slowing growth

Village allows teen to play accordion on street
Republicans at odds over gas tax
Springer decries an Iraqi war

Church celebrates 200th
Budget displeases governor
Budget winners include some N.Ky. recipients
Man pleads not guilty in shooting of girlfriend
Levee's tax deal OK'd
Florence police: Car full of grass
Crime spree blamed on early release
Conner interview with Dr. Phil is broadcast
Lawsuit challenges Bates' eligibility to run
Lunsford launches TV ads
Kentucky obituaries