LOUDON, Tenn. (WATE) – In a plot that sounds like the script of a movie, an Oregon woman received a 15-year sentence for trying to carry out a plan to kill her mother in a Tellico Village home.
The murder plot involved helium, zip-ties, a potentially fatal “beauty treatment,” and a turkey that was possibly laced with medication.
Kimberly Hopkins, 56, was convicted Thursday of attempted first-degree murder in what Loudon County District Attorney General Russell Johnson said was a “difficult case for his office to prosecute given the circumstances of an adult daughter with elderly parents who were of differing opinions on how strongly the case should be prosecuted.”
Hopkins, who has been estranged from her adoptive parents, John and Jan Martin, both 88, arrived unannounced on Father’s Day weekend in 2018 at their home in Tellico Village.
She ordered helium delivered to the house using her parents’ computer and her mother’s credit card. She also purchased clothing and items that were used as part of her plan, Johnson said in a news release.
The plot unraveled after church on Father’s Day when Hopkins took her mother to a bedroom and wrapped her hands with zip-ties and started to place a plastic bag over her head under the pretext of giving her mother a beauty treatment, according to the news release.
The mother objected and called for her husband who was in another room of the house.
Hopkins left the house after John Martin confronted his daughter.
The Martins discovered containers of helium, gloves, bags and a turkey that the daughter had baked that was possibly laced with medication, Johnson said in the news release.
The couple called Loudon County Sheriff Tim Guider’s Office and Hopkins was arrested when she returned to the house later on Father Day’s.
Investigators found evidence that Hopkins may have determined to make the crime look like an assisted suicide, Johnson said.
Hopkins had also asked her father pointed questions about their investments and bank account location upon her arrival at their home.
Hopkins was indicted by the Loudon County Grand Jury in December 2018 and she pled guilty in return for a 15-year prison sentence.
She will receive credit for the 15 months she served in the Loudon County Jail since her arrest, Johnson said.
The district attorney noted this was “a difficult case for his office to prosecute given the circumstances of an adult daughter with elderly parents who were of differing opinions on how strongly the case should be prosecuted.
“We could not please both of the Martins. There was a marked difference of opinion between a desire that she never leave prison versus one of complete forgiveness and mercy. We could appreciate both positions and our collective heart goes out to both Mr. and Mrs. Martin.
“Thus, we tried to strike a balance by convicting her with an admission of guilt to the crime that we believe she intended to commit, no matter how inept her planning or execution.
“The situation placed both parents in the most difficult of situations in trying to help advise us as to the determination of their daughter’s fate in this case.”
Assistant district attorneys Bob Edwards and Jed Bassett assisted Johnson with the case. Loudon County detectives Patrick Upton and Chris Bowen worked the investigation.
Hopkins was represented by Andrew Thompson.
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