2021 News Releases

Cherokee County man pleads guilty to 2 counts of first-degree murder

Release Date: Nov 03, 2021

COLUMBUS – (November 3, 2021) – A Cherokee County man has pleaded guilty to two counts of first-degree premeditated murder for the deaths of two individuals in 2020, Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt said today.       

Mark Hopkins II, 30, of Columbus, entered a guilty plea today in Cherokee County District Court. Senior Judge Robert Fleming accepted the plea on two counts of first-degree premeditated murder and set sentencing for December 27.

The crime occurred in June 2020, resulting in the deaths of Blaze Swank and Kylan Shook in Cherokee County. The case was investigated by the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office and the Kansas Bureau of Investigation.

Related charges against another defendant remains pending. Charges are merely accusations; defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

The case was prosecuted by Deputy Attorney General Vic Braden and Assistant Attorney General Shannon Rush of Schmidt’s office.

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News releases issued prior to 2011 are available through an archive hosted by the Kansas State Library.