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

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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.


  • Claire Aiello

    NOTE from web manager: If you know details of the crime, please DO NOT post them here. The DeKalb County Sheriff’s Office has not released specific details about what happened in order to protect the investigation. We have deleted all comments alluding to information that has not been issued by law enforcement.

  • Say What

    Even a 14 year old can easily get a gun and kill another person. Thanks NRA for protecting the unfettered access to guns!!

    • Say What

      ABE, is it safe to say that, from your anarchist chaotic philosophy, that you would legalize all drugs? Your answer to everything is to go to a silly extreme. It seems that people like you call laws you do not agree with as being a nanny state. What do you call the laws you do like?

    • Abe

      Reply to “Say What” who says “silly extreme”…
      I am not the one who came here right off the bat spouting anti-gun rhetoric. You were and the posts here are time stamped to prove it.
      Then you ask “What do you call laws you do agree with?”
      Not to get distracted by the rest of you comment that goes on an different tangent unrelated to the subject you brought up… in this case… I want laws (and language) that was added to the constitution of Alabama removed that were added during racist times of Alabama to put restrictions on minorities and poor in Alabama from being able to defend themselves removed.

      Here is the 1901 Alabama Constitution on the matter at hand (gun control).

      Article 1 Declaration of Rights.
      SECTION 26
      Right to bear arms.
      That every citizen has a right to bear arms in defense of himself and the state.
      SECTION 36
      Construction of Declaration of Rights.
      That this enumeration of certain rights shall not impair or deny others retained by the people; and, to guard against any encroachments on the rights herein retained, we declare that everything in this Declaration of Rights is excepted out of the general powers of government, and shall forever remain inviolate.

      What do I call these laws you ask?…. “freedom”. And above being touched by nanny-staters such as yourself.

  • Skillpot

    Guns were in the house, when I was born! I grew up with a 22-cal, and several shotguns were in the house! So, it is not the gun, but, the teaching of the ‘moma’ that makes a difference! Of course, the TV, Pulpit, and other places do not teach what needs to be taught!

  • Papahogg

    Well we dont know if the 14 year old got gun from an friend or what ! we dont know if gun was parents or not.. so plz settle down.. IMO the gun didnt jump up into the person hand an started shooting,also we dont know the mental state of the person being investagated.Also yes I have had guns all around me and my family all my life an none them shot anyone.

  • Bre

    Shame on you for using this tragedy to argue over gun laws! The simple fact is that a child is in jail and his entire life ruined and a woman lies dead and leaves a devestated family behind to face this! Why not use your energy to pray for this family as vehemently as you are driving at each other over gun control issues!

  • T.g a

    Praying for kelenas family I pray god you give her mother strength to comfort her heart a month ago she just lost husband now her daughter and now this young man god we don’t know his future only you do god just wrap your arms around this family for the ones that didn’t know kelena you don’t know what you missed she always had a smile on her face and would help you do anything for anyone don’t pass judgement on someone you don’t know or what happen we wert there rip in peace your work on earth is done go fly with the Angels

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