back to article Burglary, robbery, kidnapping and a shoot-out over… a domain name?!

A home break-in that resulted in two men being shot – one of whom was later charged with burglary, robbery and kidnapping – was the result of a domain name dispute, cops have said. Sherman Hopkins, 43, broke into a house in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, America, last month armed with a gun, it is alleged. Rather than making off with …

  1. lglethal Silver badge

    Wow. Just wow.

    If you saw this in a movie or read it in a book, you would dismiss it as completely unrealistic and yet here we are...

    It's not April 1st in the US, is it?

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

    2. bluesxman

      Re: Wow. Just wow.

      It's not April 1st in the US, is it?

      Feels like every day in the US has been 1st April since mid January...

      1. Nick Kew

        Re: Wow. Just wow.

        It's an old Reg tradition. Every day is April 1st.

        Haven't we all shot ourselves in the foot at one time or another? Just not quite literally.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Possible domain names?

    Could it have been

  3. Adam 52 Silver badge

    Very peculiar charges if the story is correct.

    Domain names as property, whilst recognised by some courts, is a shaky foundation for a prosecution and kidnap for moving a person within their own house? And no other offences against the person?

    Iowa, unlike other US states, doesn't allow a self-defence defense for shooting fleeing intruders in the back.

    Doesn't feel like we're getting the whole truth here.

    1. Peter2 Silver badge

      I don't think the domain name as property is so much of an issue compared to turning up at somebodies house with a lethal weapon and making threats to "do this or die".

      In any case, Kidnap appears to be defined as "to seize and detain or carry away by unlawful force or fraud and often with a demand for ransom"

      He was detained by unlawful force and actions were demanded in exchange for his release. I'd say that meets the definition, presumably it was thought that this charge was provable and serious enough that other more difficult to prove charges were surplus to requirements.

    2. Trigonoceps occipitalis

      El Reg:

      " ... Hopkins made a run for it. Deyo then reportedly shot him twice before calling the police ... "

      Adam 52:

      "Iowa, unlike other US states, doesn't allow a self-defence defense for shooting fleeing intruders in the back."

      Thank you for that irrelevant information.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      definitely more to this story....

      Sherman was shot 8 times... not twice.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Uh huh

    Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

    I think we all know what website that's likely to be then..... Well, let's face it, we're all El Reg readers so quite likely to do some left-handed browsing occasionally.

    [Imagine the Paris icon, but I'm posting anonymously this time so can't select it]

    1. jMcPhee

      Re: Uh huh

      Or maybe it was a cornfield related domain. That would be popular in CR.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Uh huh

      Quaker Oats?

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Uh huh

      Do tell. Sure I do some one-handed browsing. Part of the problem with one-handed browsing is that it doesn't leave a free limb to do a domain lookup...

      Or maybe I'm weird and everyone else gets off on looking up where the sites are hosted?

  5. Stratman

    If the alleged 'intermediary'..

    ..was running away, why was it lawful for him to be shot?

    1. Killfalcon Silver badge

      Re: If the alleged 'intermediary'..


      At a guess because I'm too lazy to look up specifc US state laws, the "Castle doctrine", which disappointingly isn't actually named for Frank "The Punisher" Castle, but around the idea that one's home is one's castle, and violence is legal in defending it. General theory is that people who break in with guns and run away might come back, and that justifies taking measures to prevent their escape.

      ...alternatively, police discretion. It doesn't have to be legal for the police to ignore it.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: If the alleged 'intermediary'..

        hmmm.... but how many times do you think a person should be able to shoot an intruder? Sherman was shot 8 times... not twice.

        1. WolfFan Silver badge

          Re: If the alleged 'intermediary'..

          Is he still on your property? Shoot him.

          Is he still twitching? Shoot him.

          Does your gun still have bullets in the magazine? Shoot him.

          In many (most? I have no idea) 'Castle Doctrine' states you can keep shooting so long as the intruder is, in your opinion, still a threat (still on your property or close to your property and still breathing) and as long as you still have ammo. Re-loading is a no-no, at least in some states (not Florida, one guy had a 17-round mag in his pistol and shot another guy 31 times. Walked). Now you know why pistols with 12-, 13-, 15-, or even 19-round magazines are popular.

          Seriously. "The statute makes no exception from immunity when the victim is in retreat at the time the defensive force is employed."

    2. WolfFan Silver badge

      Re: If the alleged 'intermediary'..

      If the alleged 'intermediary'..

      ..was running away, why was it lawful for him to be shot?

      1 the idiot shot Our Hero first

      2 the idiot was on Our Hero's property

      3 the idiot was still armed

      4 Iowa is a Castle Doctrine state. This means that, yes, I can shoot you and stand a very good chance of not even being arrested much less convicted given that 1, 2, and 3 are true.

      There was, for example, the case of the idiot 14-year-old who got shot after attempting a 'ring-doorbell-and-run' prank. and that boy's lucky. He's still alive. At least one other person was shot dead doing something similar, and again no charges were filled. The Wild Wild West is still with us, and extends at least as far east as Florida.

      1. Prst. V.Jeltz Silver badge

        Re: If the alleged 'intermediary'..

        Very interesting! Reading the "Castle" thing lead me to this thing:

        You dont even have to be at home to shoot your load!

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: If the alleged 'intermediary'..


      Shooting each other is how they say hello.

  6. Daedalus

    Er, "Hamilton" ?

    Checked the Tony awards for the last few years recently?

  7. Mike 16


    Did Hopkins plan to wait until the transfer was confirmed? by GoDaddy? Eventually everybody has to sleep, or tend to other bodily functions, giving Deyo the opportunity to escape

    Confession: I used GoDaddy back in the day when I was young and foolish. No longer young. But they still keep sending me notice that the credit card I registered for automatic payments for services I did have, but not for a decade or more, has expired, so "My account has been frozen"

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    See, this is why we need Domain control!

    because when you let everyone have Domains, people get hurt! Won't someone think of the children!

    (its gotta be a porn domain, there's almost nothing else worth it. except maybe some hollywood or music biz types who think they're Supreme Deities)

  9. Nolveys

    I could see this happening

    A colossal asshole I used to work for, who I will call Captain Fantastic, setup a whole bunch of domains for different companies in the area...without giving access to the customers. He also hosted. His hosting was farcically unreliable, up and down like a toilet seat at a bean-tasting party. Once the company he was reselling from vanished into the ether. There was no backup.

    Captain Fantastic was a black hole when trying to contact him to get domains back (or to get *anything* done). Contacting the registrar and explaining the situation caused them to email Captain Fantastic who emailed them back claiming that the people trying to get their domains were lying.

    Captain Fantastic even managed to double-fuck some people. There was an auto shop who's domain he had control of. He somehow got them to do thousands of dollars of work on his vehicle on credit, didn't pay and then brutally dicked them with their domain and hosting.

    Luckily he sold his hosting company early this year to someone who isn't an asshole. However, this was after the better part of a decade of dragging his customers/victims through the BS.

    It wouldn't have surprised me at all if a group of dudes with baseball bats had paid Captain Fantastic a visit and forced him to do domain transfers.

  10. TheElder

    Re: Stand Your Ground in Florida

    Some new changes in that respect:

    JUNE 9, 2017

    "Florida's self-defense law was initially passed in 2005, and inspired similar laws in other states. It removes the legal responsibility to retreat from a dangerous situation and allows the use of deadly force when a person feels greatly threatened."

    In other words, shoot to kill when you feel like it.

    On the subject of domains I have a couple for sale. I won't advertise them here but I really wonder how to find a good appraisal. I have a very old dot com name that is super easy to remember and spell. I also have a three letter domain name in a dot ca. The dot com name has earned about 3/4 million dollars for the web site that lives on it. I also have another one that I would sell but only if offered a lot of money. It is directly related to a five star hotel in Greece as well as Latin and Hebrew. It is also a very pretty flower and some other cool things. Just five letters.

  11. David Roberts


    Apparently if you are a visiting Yoga teacher from Australia, reporting that an assault on another woman may be in progress is enough to get you shot by Police.

    I can't off hand think of anyone less threatening than a female Yoga teacher.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Murica

      Try a and autistic adult playing with a toy truck and his guardian. Cops shoots guardian who laying his stomach. Cop latter claims he was aim for the autistic adult who was about 3 feet away. Cop is latter reviled to be on the swat time. Also there was another cop 30 feet closer that deiced not to shoot.

      Or how about a middle age guy watering his neighbors grass. Cops said that thought the hose was a gun.

      then what about shooting some guy in the back that was face down and hand cuff. Cop said he mistook his gun for a tazer.

      It's sad that in America you are morel likely to be killed by the police than a terrorist.

      1. Not That Andrew

        Re: Murica

        Don't forget the seven year old girl sleeping on a couch

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