A 54-year-old Hagerstown man was sentenced Thursday in Washington County Circuit Court for the 2011 murder of his roommate, whose decomposing body was found days later in the West Franklin Street apartment they shared.
Darrell Hicks was given the maximum 30-year sentence for second-degree murder by Circuit Judge Daniel P. Dwyer, who gave Hicks another three years for carrying a deadly weapon.
Hicks will have to serve at least half of the 30-year sentence for the stabbing death of Darrin Pressman before he is eligible for parole, Assistant State’s Attorney Brett Wilson said after the sentencing.
Pressman, 45, was found lying partially in the closet of his bedroom on June 3, 2011, although
Hagerstown police believe he was killed on the Memorial Day weekend. A medical examiner testified at Hicks’ April jury trial that Pressman had been stabbed six times and had 10 slashing wounds to his head, neck and torso.
The jury acquitted Hicks of a charge of first-degree murder, which could have resulted in a life sentence.
The body was discovered by Pressman’s girlfriend, Karen Haws who had repeatedly tried to contact Pressman for days.
Hicks had a long history of violent crime dating to the 1980s, Wilson told Dwyer. That included an attempted bank robbery in 2009 in Anne Arundel County, he said.
A judge in that county gave Hicks a sentence of time served on the provision that he be driven to Hagerstown by his daughter and enter a treatment program, Wilson said.
Hicks showed no remorse at sentencing. When asked if he had anything to say before the sentence was handed down, he directed an obscene comment at Haws.
Assistant Public Defender Kathleen McClernan asked the judge to recommend that Hicks serve his sentence at Patuxent Correctional Institution in Jessup, Md., in order to have access to programs for inmates with mental health issues. Dwyer said he would take that under advisement.
Asked if Hicks’ comment to Haws was indicative of his mental health issues McClernan said, “I’m not a social worker, but if I had to take a guess, yes.”