The Iowa Court of Appeals has ordered a new judge to review the record and perhaps adjust the sentence a Story County man who admits he killed a woman while he was driving drunk. Just about a year ago, Will Hopkins was driving drunk in Nevada and killed Jill Sigler as she was walking home from a convenience store. Neighbors found her body in the street.
Hopkins pled guilty to homicide by vehicle and leaving the scene of a personal injury accident. Just before his sentencing, the prosecutor told the judge Hopkins was among "the worst of the worst drunk drivers in Story County" and cited six previous drunken driving arrests. While the Court of Appeals says the prosecutor "violated the spirit of the plea agreement" with his "disparaging remarks," the prosecutor eventually followed through and asked the judge to adhere to the plea bargain.
The Court of Appeals has upheld the 25-year sentence Hopkins received for pleading guilty to vehicular homicide and his five-year sentence for leaving the accident. The Court of Appeals, though, has ordered a new judge to hold a hearing and determine if those sentences will run concurrently — which means the judge will determine if the total sentence should be 25 or 30 years.