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home : news : law enforcement January 20, 2021

10/1/2020 12:38:00 AM
Hoppel Sentenced For Her Part in Yates Killing

Wayne Howard

On an early morning in June 2018, Gaston County Police received a call from a passing motorist about a possible shooting in the Crowders Mountain area of southwestern Gaston County.

Arriving on the scene, officers found the body of 30-year-old David Joseph Yates II of Lincolnton lying in the roadway. Detectives identified a possible suspect vehicle, a Chevy Tahoe, which was later stopped by the Cleveland County Sheriff’s Office near Grover.

The four occupants of that vehicle: David Keith Bridges, 24, of Kings Mtn.;
James Lee Flanagan (a/k/a James Victor Blake), 26, of Kings Mtn.; Amanda Kelly Hoppel, 25, of Gastonia; and Jordan William Gigee, 28, of Blacksburg, SC, were all charged with 1st degree murder, conspiracy to commit murder, and 1st degree kidnapping.

Hoppel, now 27, pleaded guilty to the kidnapping charge in a plea bargain agreement Wednesday in Gaston County Superior Court and was sentenced to just over four years in prison, her sentence was officially 52 to 75 months, but with credit for time already served in jail, she'll likely get out in two.

She and Bridges convinced Yates to meet up with them in Gastonia. When he attempted to get out of the vehicle, Bridges shot him. Bridges accepted a plea bargain for second degree murder in April of last year and was sentenced to 25 years in prison.

Gigee also got a plea bargain deal and was sentenced to eight years (92 to 123 months) for kidnapping Yates.

Flanagan remains jailed in Gaston County awaiting a trial on the murder and kidnapping charge. No date for his trial has yet been set.

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