Woman gets 25 to 50 years for role in boyfriend's murder

Posted: June 30, 2014

AN EASTWICK WOMAN who had pleaded guilty to hiring a hit man to murder her longtime live-in boyfriend in 2012 was sentenced yesterday to 25 to 50 years in prison.

Desiree Hicks did not speak and showed little emotion during her sentencing before Common Pleas Judge Glenn Bronson shortly before 9:30 a.m.

Hicks, 58, pleaded guilty April 14 to third-degree murder and conspiracy to commit murder for her role in the May 31, 2012, killing of boyfriend Aaron Hayes Sr.

Hayes, 52, a SEPTA trolley operator, was fatally shot outside the couple's Elmwood Avenue home after he left for work.

Relatives of both Hicks and Hayes addressed the judge before he handed down the sentence.

"I want you to know something," said Aaron Hayes Jr., the victim's adult son, reading from a prepared statement. "How much was my father's life worth to you? Apparently not much," because the person who committed the murder was never paid.

The couple had been together for 17 years. Hayes was planning on leaving Hicks to marry another woman, the prosecution has said.

The sentence calls for 20 to 40 years for the third-degree-murder charge and five to 10 years for the conspiracy offense, which will run consecutively.

Before the sentence was read, Hicks' attorney, James Berardinelli, asked the judge for 14 to 28 years. Assistant District Attorney Gail Fairman told the judge she'd be "shocked" if Hicks got anything lower than 25 to 50.

She said Hicks was a full participant in the hit. "The only thing she didn't do is fire the shots," Fairman said. "She had someone do that for her."

The hit man, mechanic Akai Thuong McRee-Tran, a/k/a Miguel Gonzalez, pleaded guilty April 23 to third-degree murder and was sentenced to 30 to 60 years in state prison.

On Twitter: @dylan_segelbaum

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