Cuyahoga County

Judge gives Cleveland husband life sentence with parole possibility after appeals court tosses aggravated murder conviction


CLEVELAND, Ohio — A man whose sentence of life without parole in his wife's murder was overturned by an appeals court was again sentenced to life in prison, this time with a possibility of parole in 21 years.

Antonio Hicks, 48, shot his wife Diana Fields-Edmonds twice Dec. 21, 2013 after an argument. He then used her car to run over the body.

A jury convicted him of aggravated murder and felonious assault and he was sentenced in October 2014 to life in prison without parole.

The Ohio 8th District Court of Appeals determined that the evidence presented at trial did not justify the condition of prior calculation and design necessary for a jury to find Hicks guilty of aggravated murder, however, and overturned that part of the conviction, leaving the rest intact.

Under the new sentence issued by Cuyahoga Common Pleas Judge Dick Ambrose, Hicks will be eligible for parole starting in 2034.

Hicks again said Monday that he didn't kill his wife and said he would continue to work to prove his innocence. The statement echoed the same claim he made during his original sentencing hearing.

"It's not right,'' Hicks said in 2014. "I don't know what people want me to say. But I did not commit this crime. I don't know what to say to the family, but I'm hurt, too.''

Fields' family didn't buy his claims of innocence, however, and clapped in the courtroom after his life sentence was read.

Hicks own father testified at the trial that his son called him the night Fields-Edmonds was shot and said "daddy, my gun went off."

A friend who was at the house earlier that day described Hicks angry. She also testified that she saw Hicks pull something out of his truck and tuck it into his waistband before she left the house.

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