An Augusta man who led law enforcement on a chase through south Augusta earlier this year opted to plead guilty Tuesday instead of standing trial.
Because of David Hopkins’ extensive criminal record, which includes a half dozen felony convictions and more than a dozen misdemeanors, the 32-year-old will serve a four-year prison term without parole.
Hopkins pleaded guilty in Richmond County Superior Court to two counts of obstruction of an officer, two counts of fleeing or attempting to elude a police officer, one count of driving on a revoked license, and misdemeanor offenses of fleeing, reckless driving, two counts of speeding, and four counts of disregarding a traffic control device or stop sign.
Assistant District Attorney John Markwalter said the incident began around 7:30 p.m. Feb. 8 when Cpl. James Ouzts saw Hopkins run a stop sign at Plantation Road and Megan Lane.
Instead of stopping, Hopkins sped from Ouzts down Windsor Spring Road, Patterson Bridge Road, Highway 88, past the Blythe Police Department and onto Highway 1 and Bath Edie Road before taking the chase into a field and then a wood line, Markwalter said. Hopkins ran stop signs, reached speeds of 110 mph and nearly hit an officer directly behind him when he suddenly threw his vehicle in reverse and accelerated toward the officer, Markwalter said.
It was a “stupid attack,” defense attorney James C. Walker said. Thankfully no one was hurt that night, and Hopkins realizes he is at a turning point and needs to settle down and be a provider for his three children, Walker said.
“Prison isn’t the only thing that can help him, judge,” Walker said in asking for a minimum time in prison.
Judge Daniel J. Craig sentenced Hopkins to a four-year prison term followed by one year on probation. Hopkins will have to complete residential substance abuse treatment before he can be released from prison, Craig ordered.