HUNTINGTON -- A Cabell County woman is suing a Barboursville man after he killed her husband on property the couple had just purchased.
Denise Hopkins, in her own right and as administratrix of the estate of Garrick Lloyd Hopkins, filed the lawsuit May 28 in Cabell Circuit Court against Rodney Bruce Black, Judy K. Ranson, individually and as executrix of the estate of Juanita H. Black, and Old Colony Company of Huntington, citing wrongful death.
Black, 62, shot and killed Hopkins, 60, of Milton and his brother Carl, 61, of Oak Hill. Black told authorities he thought the men were breaking into a building that he mistakenly thought he owned. Authorities said Black shot the men without warning or without calling police. The men died at the scene.
According to Denise Hopkins' complaint, Garrick Hopkins went to the property on Old Crow in Barboursville he recently purchased with his wife from Old Colony, the real estate company for the defendants, on Jan. 25 when Rodney Black shot him to death.
Denise Hopkins claims the couple previously had inquired as to the safety of the property that was adjacent to Rodney Black's residence because Black had a propensity for violent behavior, including previously shooting his own brother in the leg and housing 54 guns on his property in addition to mental health petitions against him and his insistence that he did not want his mother's property sold. But his sister, Judy K. Ranson, and Old Colony assured Garrick and Denise Hopkins there was no safety concern.
The defendants are accused of wrongful death, fraud, negligent misrepresentation, breach of contract, breach of implied covenant of good faith and fair dealings.
Denise Hopkins is seeking compensatory and punitive damages in an amount to be determined by the court.
She is being represented in the case by attorneys Dwight J. Staples and Gail Henderson-Staples of Henderson, Henderson & Staples LC. The case has been assigned to Circuit Judge Christopher D. Chiles.
Cabell Circuit Court Case No. 14-C-421