- Associated Press - Wednesday, March 21, 2018

YADKINVILLE, N.C. (AP) - A former North Carolina sheriff’s deputy accused in the 2015 death of a Christmas tree farmer has been acquitted of a murder charge.

District Attorney Gary Frank said Wednesday a Yadkin County jury deliberated six hours over two days before returning a verdict in the trial of Joshua Franklin Hopkins, who was charged with second-degree murder in the death of 62-year-old Ashe County farmer Dallas Arthur Shatley.

The verdict was returned on Monday.

Media outlets report body-cam video showed officers trying to take a firearm from Shatley’s truck. The video showed Shatley’s truck began to move with Hopkins hanging on before breaking away. Hopkins and the chief sheriff’s deputy fired at the driver as he steered the truck toward Hopkins.

Hopkins had also been a deputy in Carter County, Tennessee.

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