LIVINGSTON -- A Livingston man has been convicted for the murder of his ex-girlfriend, a local daycare owner who was fatally shot two years ago.
After a trial that lasted the better part of two days, the 12-person jury needed a little more than an hour to return a verdict of “guilty” for second-degree murder against 70-year-old Errol Hicks, who shot Carol Hutchinson four times in September 2019.
Second-degree murder carries a sentence of life imprisonment without the benefit of parole, probation, or suspension of sentence.
“We miss her and can’t bring her back,” said Carol’s older brother Sammy Hutchinson. “But at least we got justice.”
The case involving Hicks goes back to Sept. 28, 2019, when Livingston Parish Sheriff’s deputies responded to a domestic disturbance on McLin Road in Livingston. According to Sheriff Jason Ard at the time, deputies discovered that “multiple rounds” had been fired at the scene, which is where they also found Hutchinson’s body.
Hicks, whom deputies found armed with a .380-caliber pistol, was arrested at the scene and said that he shot Hutchinson only after she pulled a gun on him first.
During the trial, prosecutors said Hicks shot Hutchinson four times: once in the chest at his residence, a second time in the back when she ran to a neighbor’s house for help, and two more times in the head and the leg on another neighbor’s carport.
Seventeen witnesses were called to testify, including neighbors, detectives, deputies, a forensic pathologist, and a DNA analyst. Hicks was slated to take the stand but ultimately declined Thursday afternoon, sending the jury into deliberation.
The jury — made up of 10 females and two males — deliberated for about one hour and 10 minutes before filing back into the courtroom and handing Judge Brian Abels of 21 Judicial District Court the guilty verdict.
After the verdict was read aloud, Abels said sentencing will come at a later date.
Assistant district attorneys Serena Birch and Brett Sommer represented the state, while public defender Susan Hebert represented Hicks.