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Vincent Christian STOPHER





Classification: Murderer
Characteristics: To avoid arrest
Number of victims: 1
Date of murder: March 10, 1997
Date of birth: July 11, 1972
Victim profile: Gregory Hans (deputy sheriff)
Method of murder: Shooting (9mm pistol)
Location: Jefferson County, Kentucky, USA
Status: Sentenced to death on March 23, 1998

Supreme Court of Virginia


opinion 1998-SC-0334-MR


STOPHER, VINCENT, DOB 7-11-72, was sentenced to death March 23, 1998 in Jefferson County.

On March 10, 1997 in Jefferson County, Deputy Sheriff Gregory Hans was dispatched to the home of Vincent and Kathleen Becker. A struggle occurred whereby Stopher obtained Hanís 9mm pistol and shot Deputy Sheriff Hans.


This killer was assaulting a man in March of 1997 in Jefferson County when Deputy Gregory Hans pulled over to assist the assault victim.  While Hans was exiting his vehicle, Stopher struggled with the deputy, taking his gun.  Stopher then used the deputy's gun to shoot him in the face, killing him.


Deputy Gregory Hans


The facts

In March of 1997, a Jefferson County deputy sheriff responded to a report of a disturbance at the residence of Stopher. When Stopher saw the deputy, he uttered a series of obscenities and immediately attacked the deputy. He was able to obtain the officer's handgun and shot him in the face. The deputy died of this wound.

A witness to the murder was then confronted by Stopher who pulled the trigger of the weapon, but itjammed. Other officers arrived on the scene and Stopher vigorously resisted arrest. During that struggle, he grabbed the gun of another officer and attempted to fire it but was unsuccessful. During the struggle that occurred incident to the arrest, Stopher had to be hit on the head before he would release the weapon. His wounds were consistent with resisting arrest. As he was being loaded into the ambulance, he told an officer "I hope that cop dies."


Vincent Stopher - Kentucky

A jury recommended the death penalty for a man convicted of killing a Jefferson County sheriff's deputy. Vincent C. Stopher turned around in the courtroom and apologized to the family of the slain deputy, Gregory Hans, after the jury's verdict was returned. He also told his family he would be OK. After the courtroom proceeding, defense attorney Vincent Yustas read a statement from Stopher. "Tell my family that I love them and tell the Hans family how much I deeply regret what I'm putting them through," the statement said. Stopher, 25, was convicted of shooting Hans during a violent rampage on March 10, 1997. He also was convicted of 4 counts of assault and 1 count of wanton endangerment. 



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