Local News

Grand Jury Recommends Further Investigation of...

Posted October 22, 1997 12:00 a.m. EDT

— A Hoke County grand jury has ruled that there is probable cause to believe a sheriff's deputy committed voluntary manslaughter when he shot a man on Labor Day weekend.

The grand jurors recommended Tuesday that the Hoke County District Attorney's office investigate into the shooting of David Michael Sivak further.

The deputy, Frank Edward Hicks, has told investigators that he shot Sivak when he tried to run over him with a van.

Hoke County Sheriff Wayne Byrd said he was ``floored'' by the grand jury's action.

He said deputies Tuesday were asking him what they are supposed to do in similar situations.

But Hicks' lawyer, Mike McGuinness of Elizabethtown, said he was relieved the jury didn't take further steps.

``It is certainly a relief to know they have not acted on the entire case and issued an indictment, because obviously that is much more complicated and would start us into criminal proceedings,'' McGuinness said.

Sivak's sister-in-law, Dianne Miner, told WRAL's Terri Gruca she was "relieved they were going to do something about it, rather than nothing being done."

Miner says it's good something is being done, but it won't bring Sivak back.

McGuinness said he was disappointed that the deputy wasn't asked to testify at Tuesday's session. He said he hopes that will happen before any indictment is brought.

``He has voluntarily cooperated with SBI. He was glad to cooperate and he would be delighted to continue to cooperate,'' McGuinness said.

Six SBI agents were among the witnesses testifying in the special session of the grand jury.

The shooting happened on the night of Aug. 29 after Sivak had earlier eluded authorities during a chase. Later, the van was found and officers began searching nearby woods with tracking dogs while Hicks waited beside the vehicle.

Investigators said Hicks told them that Sivak emerged from the woods and ignored orders not to drive away. Hicks said he started shooting when Sivak tried to run over him.

From staff and wire reports

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