"This is not your typical bigamy case. It is the worse case of bigamy that will ever be heard in this courtroom", said Assistant Commonwealth's Attorney Derek Wagner to the Honorable S. Bernard Goodwyn of the Chesapeake Circuit Court.
Wagner went on to say Charles Edward "Ed" Hicks' behavior was "predatory" and "not accidental". He asked the Judge Goodwyn to disregard the sentencing guidelines, which only call for probation for bigamy without prior convictions, and he asked that a two-year sentence be imposed on Hicks.
Judge Goodwyn sentenced Ed Hicks to five years in prison, but suspended four of them and that includes the time already served in Chesapeake, Virginia--not in Mecklenburg County, NC. Additionally, Hicks will serve an indeterminate amount of supervised probation upon his release with a minimum one-year under active supervision.
Hicks has seven confirmed marriages and four overlap. Moreover, in the last five years he used the Internet to find victims via online dating sites including Match.com, YahooPersonals.com, DreamDates.com, and AdultFriendFinder.com. As Charles Hicks faced prosecution in Chesapeake, he had proposed to an eighth woman in North Carolina when the woman's sister saw Ed Hicks' face on the Dr. Phil show and called the police.
Both Julie Flint (formerly Julie Hicks) and Sandra Hicks testified at the sentencing hearing. Note, that WAVY-TV's report of "the wives said that one year may not seem like a long time, but they believe it is a harsh sentence for this type of crime," is incorrect. What was said was this: "We were pleased that Ed Hicks did not walk out of the courtroom today with time served, although we were disappointed in length the sentence, we consider this a victory because most bigamists do not spend anytime in jail and receive only probation and a nominal fine." In addition to Sandra and Julie, two of Ed Hicks' other victims he met via online dating sites attended the sentencing hearing.
Ed Hicks showed absolutely no remorse or empathy towards either victim in his statement to the judge prior to sentencing, nor did he accept any responsibility for his actions. He tried to discredit Sandra Hicks' statement of financial loss, which is well documented by bank and credit card statements, stated that he "was the one who incurred debt", and Hicks added that he wanted only "mutual love and admiration" but that "people don't always make it, relationships don't always work."
View a WAVY-TV video, view articles at The Virginian-Pilot, The Richmond Times-Dispatch, The Washington Post, and The Daily Press.