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Hoke Sheriff's Deputy Indicted on Charge of...

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RAEFORD, N.C. (AP) — A Hoke County sheriff's deputy who wascleared of wrongdoing in an internal investigation has beenindicted by a grand jury on a charge of voluntary manslaughter.

The grand jury deliberated about 30 minutes Tuesday beforedeciding that Deputy Frank Edward Hicks should be tried for thedeath of David Michael Sivak.

Sivak was killed on Labor Day weekend. Hicks, 41, toldinvestigators that he didn't start shooting until Sivak tried torun over him with a van. An autopsy report said Sivak, 32, was hitby four bullets, and the fatal one struck him in the back.

Just one week ago, Sheriff Wayne Byrd said an internal review byhis investigators concluded that Hicks followed department andstate policies on the use of deadly force when he shot Sivak.

The internal review, however, had no bearing on the state'sinvestigation of the shooting. The same grand jury had found inOctober that probable cause existed to believe Hicks committedvoluntary manslaughter against Sivak.

Jurors had recommended further investigation by DistrictAttorney Jean Powell, who turned the case over to the stateattorney general's office.

Superior Court Judge B. Craig Ellis set a $10,000 unsecured bondfor Hicks.

The former Army military policeman was not permitted to testifybefore the grand jury and has been on paid administrative leavesince Aug. 29. Hicks' first court appearance will be Jan. 12, 1998.

After the grand jury's decision, Byrd said he would consult withthe county attorney about Hicks' status with the department.

Sivak's mother-in-law, Joan Miller, represented the family atthe courthouse.

``Thank you, Jesus,'' she exclaimed after hearing of theindictment. ``We can't bring David back, but we can get justice forthe family.''

JoAnn Sivak, David Sivak's widow, said she was confident thegrand jury would indict Hicks, but is troubled by Byrd's position.

``I don't understand why the state thinks Hicks committed awrong and the sheriff doesn't,'' she said. ``I don't want to callHicks a liar, but his story makes no sense.''

Hicks had stopped to check out Sivak's van, which was parked ata closed convenience store about 9:30 p.m. Aug. 29. As Hicksapproached the van, Sivak sped away and led Hicks on a chasethrough western Hoke County before Hicks lost sight of the vehicle.

A couple later called to report a strange van near a brush pileon their property. Hicks responded to the call and identified thevan as the one he had been chasing.

Sivak later emerged from some woods and climbed into the van,ignoring Hicks' order to stop.

According to witnesses, Sivak started the van and drove towardHicks, who fired 11 shots at the moving vehicle. The last shotstruck Sivak in the back and pierced his heart, fatally woundinghim.

An autopsy report indicated Sivak had cocaine in his system, andpolice reports show he was facing two DWI charges.

Sivak, a native of Washington, D.C., moved to the area with hiswife and three children from Alexandria, Va., about two years ago.He was a driver for the Mayflower Company in Fayetteville.

Copyright ©1997 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or distributed.

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