Judge Approves Motion to Dismiss Hoke Deputy's Involuntary Manslaughter Case
Posted November 2, 1998 6:00 a.m. EST
HOKE COUNTY — Every defense lawyer in every trial asks the judge to throw out the case against their client. The answer is almost always "no."
But Monday, a Hoke County judge said "yes," and a sheriff's deputy accused of killing another man is free.
Hoke County Deputy Frank Hicks has his gun back and will be out patrolling the streets Tuesday night for the first time since he was charged with involuntary manslaughter.
A Hoke County judge ruled Tuesday that there was simply not enough evidence to show that excessive force was used in the case.
While on duty, Hicks shot David Sivak eight times when Sivak tried to run him over with his van.
"This has been a hard 14 months. It's a little hard knowing that you were 100 percent right and had to put up with this," Hicks said. "But with the support of my family and friends, I have come through it."
Two witnesses testified that Sivak was indeed trying to hit the deputy.
Sheriff's officials say the indictment has had a chilling effect on other officers in similar situations.
"Some people are awfully quick to judge when they don't know all the facts. They don't know all the circumstances. I'm so thankful that the judge took all that into consideration," said Hoke County Sheriff Wayne Byrd.
"My husband is a good man, and I know that he would not go out and intentionally hurt anyone," said Teudora Hicks. "For all the law enforcement agencies out there and men and women, you know that this is victorious for each and every one of you."
A wrongful death civil suit has been filed in this case.