Archive for Wednesday, May 19, 2004

Evaluation under way on suspect in murder

May 19, 2004

A Lansing man, charged in the drowning death of his estranged wife, is undergoing a mental evaluation.

Gary Hicks, 36, was charged last week in Leavenworth County District Court with first-degree premeditated murder and aggravated kidnapping in the drowning death of his estranged wife, Patricia Hicks, 37. Her body was discovered April 21 in a pond west of Lansing three days after she was last seen alive at her Olathe home.

A review of the mental evaluation is set for 1 p.m. June 25 in Leavenworth County District Court, according to Deborah Owens of the county attorney's office.

A preliminary hearing is set for Friday for another man charged in the case, James P. Raney, 37, Olathe. Raney was arrested on a charge of obstructing official duty, a charged based on answers and information Raney provided during the investigation of Patricia Hicks' death, according to Undersheriff Dave Zoellner.

Authorities suspect Hicks was kidnapped three days before her body was found. She last was seen at her Olathe home, where police found signs of forced entry. Officials believe she was taken to Leavenworth County, where she was killed.

The day before her body was found, about 100 volunteers searched a pasture and wooded area near Leavenworth County Road 33 and Mount Olivet Road. They also had started their search of the pond.

Gary Hicks was charged last month in Johnson County District Court with making a criminal threat against her and was taken into custody after his wife was reported missing.

Court records show that Patricia Hicks filed for divorce March 22, two days after the criminal-threat charge was filed. A judge had issued a protection order that Patricia Hicks had sought against her husband.

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