Life sentences stacked

A judge has stacked the life prison sentences for a Quinlan man, who was convicted this week on multiple counts of sexually assaulting a child.

A judge has stacked the life prison sentences for a Quinlan man, who was convicted this week on multiple counts of sexually assaulting a child.

Jury selection was scheduled Monday for Bruce Hopkins, charged with two indictments of aggravated sexual assault of a child. He had pleaded not guilty.

Hunt County District Attorney Noble D. Walker Jr. said in a statement that following jury selection, Hopkins chose to waive the jury and both guilt/innocence and punishment were submitted to the court, which resulted in 196th District Court Judge Andrew Bench finding Hopkins guilty and sentencing him to life prison in each cause.

“The victim and their family were very happy with the guilty verdict and lengthy sentence,” Walker said. “Judge Bench ‘stacked’ the defendant’s sentences so he will not begin serving his second life sentence until his first life sentence has been completed.”

The Hunt County grand jury returned the indictments against Hopkins in June 2019. Hopkins, 72, was alleged to have sexually assaulted a male child of less than 14 years of age on two separate occasions in November 2018.

Each of the aggravated sexual assault of a child indictments was a first-degree felony, punishable upon conviction by a maximum sentence of up to life in prison.

“Assistant District Attorney Jeff Kovach did an outstanding job presenting this case on behalf of the State and obtaining both the guilty verdict and life sentences,” Walker said. “Additionally Investigator Stacy Green with the Hunt County Sheriff’s Department and Jessica Francis with the Child Advocacy Center were instrumental in bringing this Defendant to justice.”

Walker said Hopkins will have to serve at least 30 years of his first sentence before becoming eligible for parole.

 In the event he makes parole, he will then begin serving his second life sentence and will have to serve at least 30 years of that sentence before again becoming eligible for parole.

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