CHEROKEE COUNTY, Kan. — A Kansas man who appealed the “Hard 50” sentence he received for a double homicide wins part of his appeal.

Mark Hopkins pleaded guilty to killing Blaze Swank and Kylan Shook in Cherokee County in June 2020.

Mark Hopkins

He admitted to shooting the couple in the head because he thought they were acting as confidential informants against him.

A district court judge gave Hopkins life without the possibility of parole for 50 years – that sentence is also known as the “Hard 50.”

At the time Hopkins pleaded guilty to the murders, he had been in jail for 572 days.

At sentencing, the judge denied Hopkins’ request to receive credit for time served.

Hopkins appealed the judge’s decision to give him the Hard 50 and denying him credit for time served.

Today the Kansas Supreme Court agreed with Hopkins, but only on the issue of getting credit for time served.

It upheld the judge’s ruling on the “Hard 50” saying Hopkins has an extensive criminal history with 22 convictions over a 13-year period.

Earlier this week, his co-defendant Kimberly Blizzard was sentenced to 27 and a half years for her role in the murders.