Press Release From Seth Banks – District Attorney, 24th Judicial District
Boone, NC – On March 5, 2018, Ryan Neil Hicks was sentenced on one count of Second Degree Murder, one count of Negligent Child Abuse resulting in Serious Bodily Injury, one count of Intentional Child Abuse resulting in Serious Physical Injury, and one count of Failure to Register as a Sex Offender.
On March 1, 2017 the Watauga Sheriff’s Office was called to a residence off of Ray Brown Road in Boone. Earlier that day, an 11 month old child had been transported by ambulance to Watauga Medical Center with life threatening injuries. The child was later transported to Brenner’s Children’s Hospital where he died the following day. Subsequent investigation led investigators to conclude that the child had died as a result of non-accidental trauma to the head. Ryan Hicks was identified as the individual responsible for the assault. It was also determined that Hicks had struck and injured the deceased child’s older brother.
Senior Resident Superior Court Judge Gary Gavenus sentenced Hicks to serve a minimum of 23 years and a maximum of 30 years in prison.
“Through his malicious actions, Ryan Hicks has taken an innocent life and permanently scarred the family of the victims in this case,” District Attorney Seth Banks said in a statement. “We as a community must speak with one voice in condemning child abuse and all of its terrible consequences. Through this plea, it is our sincere hope that the family can reach some semblance of closure in this case. I would like to thank the Watauga County Sheriff’s Office and Assistant District Attorney Jasmine McKinney for their hard work in seeing that Ryan Neil Hicks was brought to justice.”