BRANSON, Mo. -- Law officers think a 45-year-old man from Stockton killed his ex-wife at a motel in Branson during an argument over custody of their 13-year-old daughter. The Taney County prosecuting attorney charged Stewart Hopkins with first-degree murder and armed criminal action late Friday afternoon for the death of Stacy (Hopkins) Birmingham, 42, of Omaha, Ark.
Officers found Birmingham's body in a room at the Country Bunkhouse Motel on Thursday morning. The Tulsa (Okla.) Police Department arrested Hopkins after 11 p.m. Thursday and he was in the Taney County jail in Forsyth by late Friday afternoon in lieu of a $500,000 bond after waiving his right to extradition proceedings.
Branson Police Chief Caroll McCullough says an autopsy indicates Birmingham died from loss of blood due to a stab wound to the neck. The probable cause statement used as the basis of the charges shows Hopkins said the murder weapon was a 3.5-inch folding lock blade knife. A detective says Hopkins admitted in an interview that he cut Birmingham three times with the knife.