Allen says he knew about plot to kill his stepfather
SEATTLE -- Seattle SuperSonics guard Ray Allen spoke for the first time Friday about an alleged plot to kill his stepfather, saying his family had been aware of the situation for more than a year.
Ernest C. Garlington, 37, of Southington, Conn., is being held on $1.7 million bond on charges he conspired to murder Derek Hopson, Allen's stepfather. Garlington and Terrence Battle, 31, of Waterbury, Conn., were charged Wednesday in a murder-for-hire plot against Hopson, a psychologist.
"It's something we have known that has been going on," Allen said after Seattle's practice. "It's unfortunate, because every story written has my name tied to it. And he feels bad about it as much as my mom does, and she doesn't want me to be tied into it. But I am connected to it."
Hopson was once married to Garlington's wife. He's now married to Flora Allen-Hopson, Allen's mother. Allen said the pair have been married for just under three years.
"I just want to make sure my mom is safe," Allen said. "I spoke to her yesterday. She seems fine, she's happy where she is. But we know in the future we could have to take precautionary measures just to keep my mom safe, because that's priority number one."
Garlington and Battle are accused of conspiring with a third man, Robbie Santos, 34, of Waterbury, to shoot Hopson in 2003.
Santos is serving an 18-year prison term for firing a shot from a .25-caliber pistol at Hopson on May 21, 2003, outside a mental health clinic in Middletown, Conn., where Hopson worked. Hopson was not injured and Santos ran off when his gun jammed, according to testimony at his trial. Allen said Hopson was driving a car he purchased for his mother at the time of the shooting.
Prosecutors alleged Santos was offered $8,000 to kill Hopson.
"My primary concern is making sure [my mom] stays out of the way," Allen said. "Her husband is someone she loves, she enjoys. Unfortunately, he came from a situation before that that had some baggage and that's pretty much all the problem."
Garlington and Battle also are accused in another assault on Hopson, on Aug. 12, 2002, in the same parking lot. In that incident, Hopson was attacked with a golf club.
Arrest warrants detailing the allegations have been ordered sealed for two weeks.
"It's nothing I haven't known," Allen said. "It's just a couple of the parties involved came forward."
Battle was charged with aiding in the commission of an attempted murder, conspiracy to commit murder and criminal attempt to commit murder. He was being held in lieu of $950,000 bond.
Garlington and Battle appeared briefly in court Thursday. Battle was ordered to return next Wednesday after he hires a lawyer. Garlington's next court appearance is scheduled for Oct. 17.
Garlington is director of psychological services at New Opportunities Inc., a nonprofit corporation that administers social service programs for low-income families in Waterbury and surrounding communities.
He faces charges including conspiracy to commit first-degree assault and soliciting and/or requesting the commission of a murder and conspiracy to commit murder.
Allen said he received a death threat five or six years ago, and spent an entire year traveling with security. He said to keep his family safe, he'll do whatever the situation calls for.
"It's something I had to deal with and however I can keep my family safe and allow them to live a comfortable life that's what I try to do," Allen said.