Trial Set For Dps Hit-And-Run

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A July 26 trial is set for Reed Hatch, accused of hitting Department of Public Safety Officer Charlie Hopkins last August and leaving the scene.

The accident, which seriously injured Hopkins, occurred the night of Aug. 18, 2005. Hopkins was reportedly on foot, walking across the parking lot of the Mazatzal Casino, when Hatch hit him with his vehicle and left the scene.

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Department of Public Safety officer Charlie Hopkins was hit by a vehicle while walking across a parking lot Aug. 18, 2005. The driver fled the scene.

At the time, Hatch was found about 30 minutes later and arrested for aggravated assault and leaving the scene of an injury accident.

Hatch, then 22, was indicted on five charges: Two counts of aggravated assault, failure to remain at the scene of an accident involving a fatality or serious injury, DUI-impairment and DUI with blood alcohol content above .08.

He was released shortly after the arrest, but with the indictment was taken back into custody. Hatch has remained in Gila County's jail facilities in Globe since September 2005.

Hopkins, also 22 at the time, was in the area for a large drug raid. He suffered critical injuries in the accident, including head trauma. The officer was airlifted to Banner Good Samaritan Medical Center in Phoenix and underwent surgery. Following the surgery, Hopkins was placed in a drug-induced coma to allow swelling of his brain to stop.

Hopkins was released from the hospital in November after making a remarkable recovery, said Frank Valenzuela, the DPS public information officer at the time.

Chief Deputy Gila County Attorney Patti Wortman is handling the case and said she expects the trial to be postponed due to the lawyers' schedules. The case will be heard by Judge Peter Cahill in the Superior Court in Payson.

See related stories:


Hit-and-run driver injures DPS cadet (Aug. 19, 2005)


DPS officer in coma following accident (Aug. 23, 2005)


Driver in hit-and-run released (Aug. 30, 2005)


Payson man indicted for injuring officer (Sept. 30, 2005)


Officer hit by suspected DUI driver released from hospital (Nov. 4, 2005)


Suspect in DUI hit and run still in jail (Jan. 24, 2006)

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