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UPDATE: 14-year-old in custody for DeKalb County woman’s shooting death

FORT PAYNE, Ala. (WHNT) – A 14-year-old boy has been arrested for the shooting death of a DeKalb County woman on Tuesday. The teen’s name is not being released, nor many details about the crime.

Sheriff Jimmy Harris said the victim, Kelena Annette Hicks, was found in the living room of her home on County Road 99 in the Mount Vernon community, suffering from a gunshot wound. She was rushed to Huntsville Hospital, where she died. Hicks was 38 years old.

The 14-year-old boy was transported to a detention facility in Anniston where he will be held pending a hearing on his status for trial. We understand a hearing will be held Friday at 10 a.m.

Because of the boy’s age, investigators are somewhat limited on what they can say about the case. They also can’t confirm the boy’s relationship to the woman who died.

Sheriff Harris said this is one of the most disturbing cases he has had to deal with in his career.

“You just can’t imagine a 14-year-old doing something this brutal. This will be a case for the courts to decide on the status of this young man,” said Harris. “He will remain in juvenile custody until that decision is made. I am very sorry for the family and their loss in this case. This young woman had just lost her father last month and this family is devastated. My thoughts and prayers go out to them. We will withhold any further comment on this case at this time due to the sensitive nature of the circumstances.”

District Attorney Mike O’Dell ordered an autopsy on Kelena Hicks’ body, which is being performed at the Alabama Department of Forensics Science lab in Huntsville.

Witness Account

WHNT News 19 spoke with a man who was doing construction work just up the road. Justin Keef said he saw deputies swarm to the home.

“It definitely was strange,” said Keef. “We were just working and doing our job. Then, the next thing we know it’s cops and ambulances and everything.”

Keef said they heard the shot, but didn’t think much of it.

“You know, we are working out here in the country so if you hear a gunshot go off, you just automatically assume, you know, target practice or somebody sighting their gun in or whatever, you know,” said Keef.

He says once deputies and paramedics showed up at the house, he knew something bad had happened.

“Just the amount of cars I would say that was surrounding the house. You kind of had an eerie feeling with the ambulance show up. And once we saw the coroner on the scene we knew that something was very wrong,” Keef said.


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