John Hopkins, father of murder suspect Sean Murray Hopkins outside Hervey Bay Court yesterday.
John Hopkins, father of murder suspect Sean Murray Hopkins outside Hervey Bay Court yesterday. Kristy Martin

Dad distressed over murder charge

THE father of an accused murderer who appeared in a Hervey Bay court yesterday has spoken of his anguish that his son could spend the rest of his life behind bars.

Sean Murray Hopkins, 28, stands accused of murdering Aaron Dale MacFarlane at Mt Isa, in the state's north-west, on January 4.

Hopkins' father John, from Brisbane, was in court yesterday to support his son. He spoke of his shock when the murder charge was laid.

"Sean's helped police all along with the investigation and I'm surprised he's been charged," a tearful Mr Hopkins told reporters outside the courthouse.

Sean Hopkins, who appeared in his prison-issue clothing, will remain in custody until he faces court again on May 17.

The Mt Isa resident has been in custody at the Maryborough Correctional Centre since he was picked up in an alleged stolen car at Gin Gin in February.

He faced court with a bandaged wrist, which police said was the result of him punching a cell door at the watchhouse.

Hopkins is accused of murdering 30-year-old Mr MacFarlane, who was dropped off at the Mt Isa Hospital with a gunshot wound to the stomach about 9.30pm on January 3. He died early the next day.

Hopkins was formally charged with the murder on Monday.

Two others have also been charged in relation to the death.

Magistrate Tom Killeen adjourned the case, allowing time for Hopkins's solicitor to fly to Hervey Bay to represent him.

It will be decided whether the matter will be dealt with locally or transferred back to Mt Isa.


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