Suspect in 1994 Knoxville murder linked to love triangle

Suspect in 1994 Knoxville murder linked to love triangle

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George Anthony "Tony" Barrett (source: family photo) George Anthony "Tony" Barrett (source: family photo)
David Hopkins (source: Knox County Sheriff's Office) David Hopkins (source: Knox County Sheriff's Office)
"When I looked into the window, I could see him laying there," Sherry Shoopman, Barrett's sister, said in a 2010 interview. "When I looked into the window, I could see him laying there," Sherry Shoopman, Barrett's sister, said in a 2010 interview.
"He was seeing a young woman at that time. Kimberly Sutton was her name," Sgt. Nevin Long said in a report on the case that 6 News aired in 2010. "He was seeing a young woman at that time. Kimberly Sutton was her name," Sgt. Nevin Long said in a report on the case that 6 News aired in 2010.
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By MONA NAIR
6 News Reporter

KNOXVILLE (WATE) – A Knoxville man is being held on murder charges that Knoxville police hope will solve an 18-year-old murder.

David Hopkins is charged with killing George Anthony "Tony" Barrett in July 1994.

Barrett was found gagged and beaten to death with a baseball bat. He was 33.

Police now think the men were involved in a love triangle with a woman.

Court documents also suggest robbery and drugs may have been motives for Barrett's murder.

Barrett was no small guy. He was 6'2" and 220 pounds.

"Tony, we called him 'Horse' because he could put away more food than anybody. He's missed mom's cooking all these years," Sherry Shoopman, Barrett's sister, said in a 2010 interview.

Shoopman and her husband at the time discovered Barrett's body in 1994. He had been gagged and beaten to death with a baseball bat in his home.

"When I looked into the window, I could see him laying there. Then we took a huge rock and broke the window," Shoopman described.

Because of Barrett's size, investigators knew the murder was likely a planned attack.

"He was seeing a young woman at that time. Kimberly Sutton was her name," Sgt. Nevin Long said in a report on the case that 6 News aired in 2010.

Long said though Barrett was dating Kimberly Sutton, she was married to Hopkins.

The indictment says Hopkins also robbed "marijuana and a quantity of good and lawful money" that day.

Hopkins was 19 years old at the time of the killing. Today at age 38, he is behind bars for murder and robbery.

The case against Hopkins still has to go to trial.

Since the time of the murder, though, Hopkins has been in and out of jail many times for other crimes.

He is listed as homeless in court paperwork.

Knoxville police say they will be releasing more information next week on how they broke the cold case.

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