Daniel Thomas Hicks, charged with the slaying of his longtime girlfriend and their 13-week-old daughter last week, was arrested this morning by officers with the Santa Cruz Police Department.
Daniel Thomas Hicks, charged with the slayings of his longtime girlfriend and their 13-week-old daughter last week, was arrested this morning by officers in Santa Cruz, Calif.
Hicks was arrested at gunpoint at about 11 a.m. in the seaside town after police traced a phone call he had made, according to Santa Cruz Police Department spokesman Capt. Steve Clark.
He was on a pay phone in an industrial area when police surrounded him, Clark said.
Hicks was cooperative during the arrest, said he knew why he was being arrested and indicated that it was because he was “a bad person,” according to Clark.
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After his arrest, Hicks’ white 2006 Chevrolet pickup was found in Weed, Calif., where it was impounded. Weed is just south of the Oregon border, about 344 miles from Santa Cruz.
Santa Cruz police said they will be using a canine to search for evidence in and around locations where Hicks may have been staying.
Hicks was charged on Thursday with two counts of aggravated first-degree murder in the deaths of Jennifer “J” Morgan, 28, and Emma Morgan whose bodies were found Tuesday morning by Jennifer Morgan’s mother.
A conviction on aggravated first-degree murder carries only two possible sentences: life in prison without parole or the death penalty.
King County Prosecutor Dan Satterberg will have 30 days from Hicks’ arraignment to determine whether to seek the death penalty against him.
The bodies were discovered Tuesday morning on a couch in the renovated basement where the couple and their young daughter lived.
Through interviews with Morgan’s mother, Hicks’ brother and half-sister, and one of Morgan’s co-workers, detectives learned Hicks had been depressed and suicidal for some time — and his condition worsened when he learned his girlfriend of nine years was pregnant, the charging papers say.
He wanted her to have an abortion, claiming Morgan “was just trying to trap him with the pregnancy,” the papers say.
Charging documents also accuse Hicks of threatening to kill Morgan and himself, and say he “had two loaded guns while he was making these threats.”
According to police and prosecutors, Hicks had not worked for more than a year and he spent most of his time in the basement apartment in the 1300 block of South Ferdinand Street.
There, detectives found a cache of weapons, all registered to Hicks, and ammunition in the house, but it is not clear in the charging documents whether the seized handguns included the suspected murder weapon.
According to charging documents, Morgan told her mother Hicks was upset the baby was a girl instead of a boy. He also “became very jealous and suspicious of Jennifer,” and questioned whether he was the baby’s biological father, the papers say.
Morgan planned to tell Hicks while her mother was at work that day that he needed to move out, charging papers say. When Morgan’s mother returned home about 9 p.m., she noticed Hicks’ pickup was gone and “took solace in the expectation that the defendant had agreed his move was best for the family.”
The mother told detectives “all was quiet downstairs” Monday night, and she thought her daughter and granddaughter were sleeping, the documents say.
Tuesday morning, she went downstairs to ask Morgan a question about a Christmas gift and discovered the bodies of her daughter and granddaughter.
According to Clark, Hicks is being held at the Santa Cruz Police Department pending the arrival of Seattle homicide detectives this afternoon.
Christine Clarridge: 206-464-8983 or firstname.lastname@example.org