Local News

Defense Resumes Case In Cary Teen's Murder Trial

Posted July 26, 2006 6:51 a.m. EDT

— In the second day of presenting their case, defense attorneys representing a 16-year-old charged with second-degree murder in the death of a Cary teenager portrayed the victim as a habitual drug user who had multiple sources of drugs the night she died.

"She's not this drug addict, addicted 16-year-old girl that everyone is trying to make her out to be," said Mandy Watson, a witness and close friend of 16-year-old Erica Hicks.

Watson was with Hicks on Oct. 3, 2005, the night she died. She told WRAL that she thinks her friend might still be alive if it were not for the defendant's actions.

"He had given her Ecstasy, she had a lot of water," said Mandy Watson about the defendant, whose name has not been released because he was 15 years old at the time of Hicks' death and is being tried as a juvenile. "He didn't help as fast as he should have."

The prosecution says the defendant gave Hicks a lethal combination of drugs and then delayed getting emergency help to her by as much as 15 minutes.

Watson had called 911 to get help for her friend. But prosecutors say the defendant got on the phone and told the operator there was no problem.

"It could have been any one of our children," said Helen Alexander, who hosted a 40th birthday party earlier in the evening of Hicks' death. "The thought of that absolutely sickens me."

Alexander said she thinks the defendant should be held accountable for his actions.

"Teenagers make bad choices, but help should have been gotten quicker, and somebody should be held responsible," Alexander said.

North Carolina law allows a person to be charged with murder for giving someone drugs, but it has only been used in a small number of cases. Some people, however, believe the second-degree murder charge the defendant faces does not fit the alleged crime.

The defense is expected to rest its case on Friday. The judge could take several days to rule on the case.