Jeffrey Dwayne Hoppes will spend the next 18 to 22 years in prison following his conviction for second-degree murder during Catawba County Superior Court.
The Honorable Nathaniel J. Poovey, Superior Court Judge from Catawba County, imposed the active prison term for Hoppes after he entered a guilty plea on Tuesday, June 11, 2019.
The defendant will serve his period of incarceration in the custody of the North Carolina Division of Adult Corrections.
Hoppes, 51, of Maiden, pleaded guilty to the March 7, 2017, death of 45-year-old Angela Smith Tramble, also of Maiden.
The defendant and victim were involved in a troubled relationship that she sought to bring to an end on the date of the murder. When they arrived home after work, an altercation ensued that led to Hoppes murdering Tramble.
A 911 call from the defendant’s mother indicated that he had contacted her and said he killed Tramble and was going to kill himself. Additional 911 calls reported shots fired at the residence in Maiden, and that the defendant, who was missing his jaw, had run to the neighbor’s house.
When deputies arrived at the scene, they found Tramble deceased in the living room with a 7-millimeter rifle on her body and a belt wrapped around her neck.
Deputies followed a trail of blood from the home to a neighbor’s residence where Hoppes was located and apprehended. He apparently had attempted to take his life with a gunshot but severely injured his jaw instead.
Brandon Styers led the investigation for the Catawba County Sheriff’s Office. Assistant District Attorney Jamie Adams prosecuted the matter for the State.
CONTACT: Nathan Key