A youth correctional officer could face years behind bars after allegedly allowing a fight that turned deadly.
Thomas Lee Hicks, a juvenile correctional officer at the Waycross Regional Youth Detention Center in Waycross, Georgia, would allow youth inmates to fight as he watched. During a fight that took place on Aug. 9, one youth inmate lost consciousness and eventually died.
The name and age of the child has yet to be released.
Hicks, 30, was fired and arrested on Aug. 16 and charged with one count of second degree murder, two counts of cruelty to children and once count of violation of oath of office. He was booked into the Ware County Jail.
In Georgia, a conviction of second degree murder could lead to up to 30 years in prison.
In a statement, the Georgia Department of Juvenile Justice said, “The Georgia Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ) is deeply saddened by the passing of one of our youths. We send our heartfelt condolence to the youth’s family, friends, and loved ones, and they remain in our thoughts and prayers. Upon learning this afternoon of the findings of the GBI investigation, I immediately terminated Mr. Thomas Hicks from employment with the Department. The actions of Mr. Hicks are deplorable and do not represent the core values of this agency.”