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Teen Convicted In Friend's Overdose Death Released

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RALEIGH, N.C. — A 16-year-old Cary boy convicted earlier this month of involuntary manslaughter for giving a Garner teen drugs is going home after being in custody since January.

The boy, who was tried as a juvenile, was sentenced to 12 months of intensive probation in the Oct. 3, 2005, death of Erica Hicks, who died after ingesting a lethal mix of cocaine, methamphetamine and Ecstasy. The teen admitted that he supplied Hicks with Ecstasy.

"He loved Erica Hicks," said the boy's defense attorney, Deb Newton. "He's never had an opportunity to address that, and so now, he's going to be with people who love him and getting treatment and getting counseling and out of detention, and he's thrilled."

The boy, however, must return to a juvenile detention center from Sept. 30 through Oct. 3 -- the anniversary of the dates Erica Hicks took drugs, fell into a coma and died. The judge's goal is to make sure he never forgets what happened.

The state had hoped to get the teen into a residential drug treatment program, but there are no spots, so for now, he will serve his probation at home until a spot becomes available.

"So now, really, the onus is on his father and him to do the right thing. He will be on a curfew, and he will have electronic monitoring and be drug tested," said Wake County prosecutor Melanie Shekita. "There have been significant safeguards in place to make sure he does not use drugs and nothing like this happens again, so it's the best we could hope for."

The boy's father said he would ultimately like to see his son back in school, but the decision is the Wake County Public School System. In the past, the system has allowed students convicted of felonies to complete their studies over the Internet.


Amanda Lamb, Reporter
Chad Flowers, Photographer
Kelly Gardner, Web Editor

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