The 62-year-old Chesterfield Township man accused of threatening and robbing a shopper in a department store lot is innocent, his lawyer maintained Wednesday.
Investigators showed multiple witnesses a picture of Marvin Lee Hopkins in a lineup "and none of them said it was him," according to Warren-based lawyer Jon Coleman Kaner. Kaner was filling in for his legal partner Randy Rodnick who will take over the case.
On Wednesday morning, Kaner asked 42-2 District Court Judge William Hackel III to reduce Hopkins' $75,000 bond. During the court appearance, the defense agreed to an official preliminary exam date of Oct. 17 before Hackel, where about five witnesses are expected to testify on behalf of the prosecution.
Even though the suspect didn't show a weapon, Hopkins was charged with armed robbery because the thief threatened to shoot the victim when demanding her purse, Kaner said.
"So basically it's just a purse-snatching case and it's been elevated to life in prison," he told Hackel during the bond-reduction request in New Baltimore.
Armed robbery carries a maximum penalty of life imprisonment upon conviction.
Upon questioning from Hackel, Hopkins said he's currently on probation for a second-degree criminal sexual conduct case in Macomb County. He is a registered sex offender and, in 1968, was convicted of assault with intent to rob while armed.
"I'm on probation...for CSC," the bespectacled defendant in jail garb chained at the waist told the judge, adding his punishment for that case was "five years probation, plus I'm doing counseling and stuff."
Hackel declined to reduce the bond, but said the Macomb County Community Corrections could review the matter. Hopkins said he's also dealing with a newly imposed $10,000 bond out of Macomb Circuit Court in Mount Clemens for violating probation by allegedly committing the robbery in late September.
Police say he approached a 55-year-old township woman in the afternoon at the Kohl's parking lot, grabbed her arm, stole her purse while threatening to kill her. Hopkins, who was arrested nearly a week later, was staying at the nearby Chesterfield Motor Inn at the time.
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