Shepherd men facing murder charges following alleged assault

By Vanesa Brashier,

Two men allegedly involved in an assault at a residence on the 400 block of Farm Pasture Road in Shepherd Tuesday evening are now facing murder charges. Michael Dodge and James Wilson are being held at the San Jacinto County Jail with bond for each set at $100,000. Dodge’s father, John Wayne Dodge, 38, was shot and killed in the incident, which took place around 8 p.m.

According to San Jacinto County Sheriff Greg Capers, the investigation has revealed that there was an ongoing feud between the elder Dodge and the resident, Tommy Hopkins, who allegedly fired the handgun that killed Dodge.

According to the sheriff, on Tuesday evening, the Dodges and Wilson went to Hopkins’ home. Capers said witnesses on the scene reportedly told investigators that Hopkins warned the men not to enter his property, which had a “No Trespassing” sign at the entrance gate.

“They passed the gate where the ‘No Trespassing’ sign was posted. They were then told by the complainant to not come on his property. They rushed him and as he was running away from them, they started beating him,” Capers said, relating information given to his investigators. “He told investigators he was in fear for his life and at the point of almost blacking out when he pulled a pistol from his waistband and shot at them from the hip. That’s how close they were to each other.”

John Wayne Dodge was struck by one of the bullets and died a short time later.

While some might disagree with the murder charges, Capers said his agency’s role in this investigation is to gather facts and present the information to the district attorney’s office, which assesses charges.

“If someone comes onto your property, you have the right to defend yourself. The question is to what degree,” Capers said. “The bottom line is we wouldn’t be in this situation today if they hadn’t gone to Mr. Hopkins’ property, passed a ‘No Trespassing’ sign and assaulted him.”

Dodge’s sister, Jenifer Jones, claims the reason her brother, nephew and nephew’s friend went to the neighbor’s house was to confront him about driving past their home at a high rate of speed.

“My brother was having a barbecue at his house and this man drove by going really fast,” she said. “My nephew went with his dad to support him. We don’t understand why they are charging my nephew with the murder of his father since he didn’t pull the trigger. It’s not making sense to me.”

Capers said both men appeared to a history of antagonistic behavior between them.

“Supposedly Mr. Tompkins would drive by Mr. Dodge’s house. Then Mr. Dodge would drive past Mr. Tompkins’ house, and so on,” the sheriff said. “That is just one allegation we’ve heard so far. Both families appear to still be feuding.”

The sheriff said it is best to let law enforcement handle complaints between neighbors to avoid confrontations that potentially could end in violence.

Dodge’s grieving family members are thankful for the outpouring of support they have received from the community, his sister said. She believes it is evidence that Dodge was well-respected in the community.

“My brother meant something to the people here. People have told us that John was the kind of person who would do anything for anybody. He didn’t deserve to die over this,” she said.

A Go Fund Me account was established to help the family with his funeral and other expenses. If you want to help, click the image below:

John Wayne Dodge (far right) from photo posted to Go Fund Me site.


  1. Ibrlieve it to be best to let law inforcement to handle this as well if in fact they police officer has contacted the family of the man shot and asked anyone anything.the only ones thay took statements from is the one who pulled the my guestion is had san jacinto police changed at all.

  2. My question is if law enforcement is handling this why is the man who fired the gun let free? Michael is going to miss his fathers funeral due to poor investigation skills… why are the only statements being taken the ones that will support the bs self defense theory? A man died and your going to put that on his son? What a messed up thing to do.

  3. I agree that law enforcement SHOULD be investigating this but till ALL the facts are presented the shooter should be in jail as well because if this is the same man I had issues with he’s (shooter) a jerk n he’s a drug head. He harrassed me several times n would follow me home or when I’d go riding horses or 4 wheeler. I made multiple complaints n NOTHING was ever done. He had me pinned up against my truck 1 night with my kids in the truck n was yelling n cussing me for no reason. Again my KIDS called 911 to get me help n NOTHING/NOBODY came to help. Thank god I found a pipe in the bed of my truck when I got away from him. The dodges have always heen really nice people n nobody except this man had issues with anyone there. Shooter should be in jail as well IMHO!!!

    • Well i will tell you this if i was the man that done the shooting and them 3 pust in the same place i would of shot all three of them

  4. Well, sounds like a justified shooting to me. Sad that someone lost their life but if three (3) individuals went to someone else’s home/property to discuss whatever then began assaulting the individual, on his property, then the property/homeowner has every right to defend himself to include using deadly force. So some of you think that the shooter should be in jail, why is that? According to this story, three (3) individuals came onto his property and began assaulting him to the point that he was “blacking out” or about to pass out. So please enlighten me, and the rest of the readers of this story, as to what the property/homeowner should have done? Allow the men ( not 1 man but 3 men) beat him to a pulp?! Disfigure or maim the man for life? So basically from what those of you leaving comments, the “shooter” should not have protected himself against three (3) individuals that were beating him?!!

    Hmmm, so if three (3), four (4), five (5) individuals came onto your property without permission, consent or authorization (including No Trespassing Signs already posted) and they were there to assault you or your family and/or loved ones, according to y’alls theory, nothing should be done to defend yourself! Just remember that, when unwanted intruders come onto your property or enter your home to cause you harm, don’t do shit to defend yourself, take the beating!! Dumbasses!!!

    • You really have no clue do you? This was a set up by your apparent friend and he knew exactly what he was doing. Maybe he was coached. He steadily aggravated the Dodge family intentionally. You can talk the so called law but we’re you there to see this idiot get beat to a pulp? I bet not… if you were you might want to step up and tell the truth to the investigators. No matter what nobody deserved to die over this! Tell your buddy that. If the law doesn’t prevail on this your buddy will rot in hell when it’s his time.

      • First and foremost, if you read my comment, I did say that it is sad that someone lost their life. Taking a life should only be taken under extreme circumstances. Second, I don’t know anyone involved in this incident therefore no one involved is “my buddy”. Going by what was written by the person who published this article, yeah, it is a justified shoot unless something comes out after the investigation that says otherwise. So according to the basics of this article, yes it “appears” justified and will be looked at in that manner all day long. So unless you are the investigating officer with background information with regards to THIS incident, those of us that weren’t there can only go by what is being said. So from what is being said, printed, told to us outsiders, we can only go by that. I wasn’t there and I’m pretty sure you weren’t either cause if you were and you witnessed the incident, you would have given a statement that would have helped in making the “shooter” look to be at fault, the “shooter” would be in jail. It is obvious that the deceased and the two (2) are “buddies” of yours. So I’m curious, if the “shooter” is a p.o.s., why didn’t the three (3) individuals do the right thing and call the police instead of going to the property of the p.o.s.? Was the p.o.s. on his property or not when he shot or when he was allegedly beaten? Can you answer that? I can see if the p.o.s. “shooter” entered onto the property of the deceased and shot him, then yes, the “shooter” should be jailed and charged with murder. But again, according to the article, they were on the “shooter’s” property which gives some justification for the “self defense” shooting. With the other two involved being arrested and charged, another indication that they didn’t do the right thing and should be held accountable for what happened. According to the article, it seems that three (3) individuals didn’t do the right thing which resulted in the tragic death of a person.

        So before you put your opinion of a “set up” out there and assume we are “friends”, get your facts right and quit with your ignorant ass assumptions. Once again, I don’t personally know anyone involved in the incident, I don’t live in San Jacinto County therefore I’m not judging the “shooter” nor the deceased or the two (2) that are jailed and charged. I’m going by what is being reported, so yeah, none of them are my “buddies”. I didn’t witness shit and never claimed to have but YOU on the other hand seem to know more about the incident. It appears that you might want to give your statement of the incident, give the facts not your assumptions or your conspiracy theory.

      • You really cannot use this article as a good, reliable reference…. Did you even notice that they cannot even keep the shooter’s name right. It changed from Hopkins to Tompkins in the middle of this article!!!!

  5. How can u charge 2 young men with murder? Aggravated assault yea .. if u wanna say shooting is justified then let it b … but u cant charge the men that didnt pull the trigger .. or if u can how?

    • Sec. 19.02. MURDER. (a) In this section:

      (1) “Adequate cause” means cause that would commonly produce a degree of anger, rage, resentment, or terror in a person of ordinary temper, sufficient to render the mind incapable of cool reflection.

      (2) “Sudden passion” means passion directly caused by and arising out of provocation by the individual killed or another acting with the person killed which passion arises at the time of the offense and is not solely the result of former provocation.

      (b) A person commits an offense if he:

      (1) intentionally or knowingly causes the death of an individual;

      (2) intends to cause serious bodily injury and commits an act clearly dangerous to human life that causes the death of an individual; or

      (3) commits or attempts to commit a felony, other than manslaughter, and in the course of and in furtherance of the commission or attempt, or in immediate flight from the commission or attempt, he commits or attempts to commit an act clearly dangerous to human life that causes the death of an individual.

  6. My sentiments exactly. SJ County is known for crooked BS and it looks like they want to keep it going. Kinda like Natasha Ashley. Not copesetic.

  7. This is unbelievable! To have John Wayne’s son and his friend in jail for murder when the shooter is free is just insane. I pray that our great judicial system comes to it’s senses and releases these boys.

  8. Anyone wanting to help these young men get a fair day in court please contact representative Ernest bailes and Kevin Brady. Ask our representatives to review the cases. Contact the officers with any information or videos. One written law should not fit every “crime”. Any criminal defense attorneys want to help these young men. Please reach out to the family. Innocent until proven guilty.

  9. I am john wayne dodge’s sister and Michael’s aunt… nephew is not guilty of this crime. He may be guilty of assault but that’s it…..please texas cops get your head outta your asses, we are going through enough losing my brother.

  10. what evidence is there that the shooter was assaulted he claims the attacked him , that would mean the attackers hands would be bruised or something ….. im waiting to see evidence that proves the shooter was attacked if not arrest him for lying and murder

  11. Almost 3 YEARS LATER!!!!!!! both men that “allegedly” jumped Tommy, their cases have been completely dismissed!!!! SO, one of the boys didn’t get out of the car at all and it was a 1 on 1 fight between a grown ass man and a teenager and john Wayne happened to get out of the vehicle when he was shot!!!! COME ON SHERIFF CAPERS !!!! DO YOUR FKING JOB!!!!!!!!! Tommy’s story is a LIE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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