Nearly four years after he was charged with murder and two years since he entered a no contest plea, Eureka Hopson will soon begin serving his sentence in an Arkansas prison.
Hopson, now 41, had been in a federal prison in Pennsylvania on drug-related charges until recently, and after completing that sentence, was returned to Pine Bluff, where he is being held at the adult detention center awaiting bed space in the Arkansas Department of Correction.
Originally charged with first-degree murder, Hopson entered the plea to a reduced charge of second-degree murder and was sentenced to 20 years in prison, with that sentence to be served concurrently with the sentence in Pennsylvania. According to the jail log, bond for Hopson has been set at $1 million.
He was one of three suspects charged with murder in connection with the shooting death of Darrayl Donson, 41, on Sept. 17, 2007. Police found Donson inside a house at 1520 W. 10th Ave. after responding to a report of gunshots in the area; he was pronounced dead at the scene of multiple gunshot wounds.
Police identified Victor Vilkoski, then 34, and known as “Goldie,” and Hopson, then 33, who was known as “Touche’”), as suspects in the case. Both were from Milwaukee, as was a female, Marletha Rankins, then 23, who also had ties to Pine Bluff.
Following a more than 16-month police investigation, Vilkoski and Rankins were charged with first-degree murder on Jan. 23, 2009, and both were arrested in Milwaukee in February 2009. Hopson was not identified as a suspect or charged with the crime until Oct. 19, 2009.
Vilkoski pleaded guilty to first-degree murder in January 2010 and was sentenced to 30 years in prison. Because of a prior robbery conviction in Wisconsin, he will have to serve 100 percent of that sentence. Charges against Rankins were dismissed because of her cooperation and because prosecutors could not develop sufficient proof of her involvement to go to trial.