Bobby Hopkins

Johnson County, Texas
Date of Crime:  July 31, 1993
Executed February 12, 2004

Bobby Ray Hopkins was convicted of the murders of Jennifer Weston, 19, and Sandy Marbut, 18. He was sentenced to death. The murders occurred at the victims' apartment at 601-B South First St. in Grandview, TX. On the night of the murders the victims threw a party at which 30 to 35 people attended.

Hopkins became a suspect after Kelly Tarver, an ex-boyfriend of Weston, told police a guy named “Bobby” had some troubles with the girls. Tarver did not give a last name and had broken off his relationship with Weston just days before her murder. Even though Hopkins had no close connection with the victims, police investigated him because he was a moderately well-known “Bobby” in Grandview, a town with less than 1500 inhabitants. He worked at the town's only bank and at one of its major gas stations. There were three other “Bobbys” who had a much closer connection to the victims.

When Hopkins found that police were looking for him, he willing flagged an officer down, showing no evidence of guilt. Police held him illegally in detention, allegedly on a unspecified parole violation, but never filed any paperwork authorizing the detention.

Hopkins had met the victims and knew they threw parties, but was unaware they threw a party on the night of their murders. People at the party testified that Hopkins was not there. Michael Meeks, Marbut's ex-boyfriend came to the party and argued with her. He tore up her room and told her he would kill her if she did not get back with him.

Following the murders Meeks went around bragging that he killed the women. Chief of Police Doug Allen went to Meeks' house and told him if he did not shut his mouth that he would be in big trouble because he did not know what he was talking about. Although Allen testified on the record to these actions, he never explained why he felt Meeks could not have murdered the victims.

Police records show that they took four vials of Hopkins' blood. Two of these vials ended up missing. Hopkins was convicted because of blood evidence found at the scene matched him. Hopkins alleged the blood evidence was planted. A bloody handprint was found at the scene of the crime, but police never tried to match it to anyone. Hopkins' fingerprints were never discovered at the scene and an unknown person's skin was found under one of the victim's fingernails. Hopkins' also had an alibi, albeit from his mother who said her son was home and that she slept near the door and would have known if her son had gone out the night of the murders.

Because of the missing vials, the blood evidence against Hopkins lacks credibility especially in light of police willingness to hide or distort other evidence. Apart from the proffered blood evidence there is no physical connection or known motive between Hopkins and the victims to plausibly suggest he could have killed them. Hopkins was executed by lethal injection on Feb. 12, 2004.  [2/10]


References:  Justice: Denied, CCADP

Posted in:  Victims of the State, Northeast Texas Cases, Defendants Executed by Texas