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On April 3, Peeler ordered the rescheduling to 1:30 p.m. June 3, anticipating “a large number of individuals will attend the sentencing, including family of the defendant, family of the victims, victim representatives, spectators, prosecutors, defense attorneys, and the media.”
Peeler said the delay was in response to the global pandemic and steps taken by the World Health Organization, the Ohio Department of Health and Warren County Common Pleas Court as part of ”’urgent and aggressive action’ to control the spread”.
Fornshell concurred with Peeler’s thinking.
“We anticipate there will easily be more than 50 family members of the victims in attendance for the sentencing, plus attorneys, court staff, media members, etc. With that volume, there’s no feasible way to maintain an appropriate level of social distancing in any of our courtrooms,” Fornshell said in an email Friday.
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The delay will probably reduce the amount of time Hopkins would face in prison, as time in jail is credited against prison terms.
His lawyers, David Allen and David Anthony Chicarelli, declined to comment.