Stabber sentenced to jail


By JOHN BURNETT

Tribune-Herald staff writer

A 44-year-old man has been sentenced to 120 days in jail and a year probation for a stabbing that took place 2 1/2 years ago in Volcano.

Darren “Chewy” Hopfe will be allowed to serve his sentence on weekends and holidays and will receive credit for time served. In a deal with prosecutors, Hopfe pleaded no contest to third-degree assault. Hilo Circuit Judge Greg Nakamura also ordered Hopfe to make restitution of $7,137.23 to the state Department of Human Services.

The incident occurred in the early morning hours of Feb. 13, 2012. Hopfe was originally charged with first-degree assault, a Class B felony. That charge was later dropped and Hopfe was indicted on Aug. 9, 2012, for second-degree assault, a Class C felony, with a lesser included charge of third-degree assault, a misdemeanor.

The victim, 49-year-old Daran Campbell of Volcano, was hospitalized with an abdominal wound after the attack. While hospitalized, Campbell told the Tribune-Herald that Hopfe had been arguing with Campbell’s girlfriend, had threatened her, and that Hopfe stabbed him when he intervened.

At Hopfe’s sentencing, Campbell asked “that justice be done.”

“I suffered greatly from the injuries I received from the attack,” Campbell said and added that he still experiences physical difficulties from the injuries he sustained.

“I stood up to Darren Hopfe,” he said. “He made it clear that he was gonna attack other people. I suffered so others wouldn’t have to.”

Hopfe’s court-appointed attorney, Steve Strauss, said he didn’t “want to make light of the victim’s injuries,” but that Campbell’s account of the incident “was inconsistent with the sworn testimony” of an eyewitness.

“That’s not what happened at all,” Strauss said. “… The victim precipitated this and was a driving factor in this and should bear some responsibility in this due to his own threats.”

Hopfe told the court that he has given up drinking and most social interaction since the confrontation, is working as an auto mechanic and studying to become a certified master mechanic. He said he believed “we was all wrong” and turned to look at Campbell in the gallery.

“I ask for your forgiveness,” Hopfe said. “Sorry for what happened.”

Email John Burnett at jburnett@hawaiitribune -herald.com.

 

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