Owner of car used in deadly hit-and run released from jail

Judge releases owner of car used in Penn Hills dragging death

PENN HILLS, Pa. — The owner of a car used in a deadly hit-and-run was released from jail Friday, Channel 11 has learned.

Modesty Hopper was arrested earlier this week, after police discovered the car involved in the April 28 crash that killed Joseph Morris.

Hopper was not driving the car at the time, police say, but she is charged with obstruction for allegedly not telling investigators who was behind the wheel.

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“What's interesting is she has been candid with law enforcement. She's interviewed with them twice already. She gave them permission to search her car. She gave them permission to search her house," Casey White, Hopper's attorney, said.

Hopper will be on house arrest while awaiting trial. Her attorney said it's a difficult situation.


“She's certainly relieved, she's a scared 21-year-old young lady who's never been in trouble and put herself in this tough position by happenstance, quite frankly," White said.

Investigators say Morris was dragged half a mile after being hit while walking home from work.

Surron Burch, who investigators believe is in a relationship with Hopper, is believed to have been the driver at the time of the crash. He's charged with homicide by vehicle and involuntary manslaughter.

According to the criminal complaint obtained by Channel 11, Burch told Hopper in a text message that he didn't mean to do it.