Hopkins Plea to Change in Hesston Shooting Case

By Jolyn Johnston-Myers
July 19, 2016

The woman charged with giving Cedric Ford the guns he used to carry out February’s mass shooting at Excel Industries in Hesston is planning to change her plea, according to federal court records.

Sarah Jo Hopkins originally pleaded not guilty to one count of transferring weapons to a prohibited person. Her August 9 trial has been canceled and a change of plea hearing is now scheduled for August 19, according to the Hutchinson News.

Hopkins' defense attorney last month told the court he planned to mount a battered woman’s syndrome defense at Hopkins’ trial. Hopkins is accused of giving Ford an assault rifle and a handgun knowing his prior felony convictions prohibited him from having them.

Hopkins said she gave Ford the weapons because he threatened her. She and Ford had two children together, though they were not a couple at the time of the shooting.

Ford killed three people and wounded 14 others in a shooting rampage that only ended when he was gunned down by a Hesston police officer.

Ford was under the influence of methamphetamine and alcohol at the time of the shooting, according to an autopsy report released last month.