Wash. man wanted in double murder is arrested in California
A Seattle man charged with fatally shooting his girlfriend and infant daughter last week was arrested Monday in Santa Cruz, Calif.
Seattle Times staff reporter
A Seattle man who was charged with fatally shooting his girlfriend and infant daughter last week was arrested Monday in Santa Cruz, Calif.
Daniel T. Hicks, 29, was arrested at gunpoint at about 11 a.m. after police traced a phone call he had made from a pay phone, said Santa Cruz Police Department spokesman Capt. Steve Clark. One law-enforcement source said Hicks had called a relative, who alerted police.
Hicks, who was on the phone when police arrived, was cooperative, Clark said. He told police he knew why he was being arrested, indicating that it was because he was "a bad person," according to Clark.
King County Senior Deputy Prosecutor James Konat and Seattle police homicide detectives flew to California on Monday afternoon to work on the investigation and to address Hicks' extradition. It wasn't immediately known how long it would take authorities to bring Hicks back to Washington. After Hicks was arrested, police found his white 2006 Chevrolet pickup in Weed, Calif., just south of the Oregon border. Weed is about 344 miles from the seaside city of Santa Cruz.
It wasn't immediately clear how Hicks had gotten from Weed to Santa Cruz.
Hicks has been charged with two counts of aggravated first-degree murder in the slayings of his 28-year-old girlfriend, Jennifer "J" Morgan, and their 13-week-old daughter, Ema Morgan. Their bodies were discovered last Tuesday morning in the Beacon Hill home where the young family lived with Jennifer Morgan's mother.
Hicks reloaded his .45-caliber handgun at least twice while firing 12 rounds of ammunition into his girlfriend and seven rounds into their infant, charging documents allege.
The King County prosecutor's office is considering whether to seek the death penalty against Hicks. Under state law, a first-degree-murder conviction carries only two possible sentences: life in prison without parole or the death penalty.
Seattle police were aware Hicks had gone to California after the slayings because he phoned his father collect from San Jose on Wednesday. His father, who didn't speak with Hicks, alerted Seattle homicide detectives.
Through interviews with Morgan's mother, Hicks' brother and half-sister, and one of Morgan's co-workers, detectives learned Hicks had been depressed and suicidal for some time — and his condition worsened when he learned his girlfriend of nine years was pregnant, charging papers say. He wanted Morgan to have an abortion, claiming she "was just trying to trap him with the pregnancy," the papers say.
According to charging documents, Morgan told her mother Hicks was upset the baby was a girl instead of a boy. He also "became very jealous and suspicious of Jennifer," and questioned if he was the baby's biological father, the papers say.
Christine Clarridge: 206-464-8983 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Seattle Times staff reporter Jennifer Sullivan contributed to this report, which includes information from Times archives.
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