By Alex Schadenberg, Executive Director, Euthanasia Prevention Coalition
A woman who plead guilty in the attempted murder of her mother is now claiming, at her parole hearing, that she was only carrying out the wishes of her mother, Jan Martin, who she claims wanted to die by suicide. Last October Kimberly Hopkins pleaded guilty to the attempted first-degree murder of her mother and was sentenced to 15 years in prison.
According to the report by Cole Sullivan for WBIR.com news, Hopkins told the Parole Board
her elderly Tellico Village mother asked for her help to take her own life Father’s Day weekend 2018. She said her mother had long suffered verbal and emotional abuse from her father and wanted to die that specific weekend to send a message.
Hopkins said that’s why she coerced her mother into a bedroom under the guise of giving her a manicure, zip-tied her hands and tried to put a plastic bag with helium over her head.
“She had ordered some things to help her kill herself and so I agreed to do that. I regret that now, but I was just doing what she wanted me to do,” Hopkins said.
But Sullivan reported that prosecutors said that the evidence does not support Hopkins’ assertions.
Assistant District Attorney Jed Bassett said Jan Martin denied asking her daughter for assistance killing herself.
Hopkins, he said, had been estranged from her parents for years.
“There was not any correspondence that she was talking about referencing an attempt to assist her mother in any suicide or euthanasia type situation,” District Attorney General Russell Johnson said.
They say the murder plot was financially motivated.
Assisted suicide is illegal in Tennessee. Nonetheless, once the concept of euthanasia or assisted suicide takes hold, it becomes an argument for a lesser murder charge.
It is also important that Hopkins used Derek Humphry’s “Final Exit” book to plan the murder.
As much as Hopkins is spinning a story in an attempt to have her jail sentence reduced, it is not unlikely that an excellent lawyer under different circumstances could successfully achieve a lesser sentence or even a suspended sentence.
The difference between homicide and euthanasia or suicide and assisted suicide is the societal perception of the person who died. Society judges that life is not worth living under certain conditions.
Editor’s note. This appeared on Mr. Schadenberg’s blog and is reposted with permission.