Shawndre Fulton's Murderer Sentenced to Life in Prison

Shawndre Fulton's Murderer Sentenced to Life in Prison

Family continues to grieve for the young girl whose life was cut short.

When Shawnta Alvarez' sister was murdered last year, she was

afraid to talk about the suspected killer, Darius T. Hicks. Now that

Hicks has been sentenced to life in prison for the murder of Shawndre

Fulton, Alvarez is no longer afraid to speak.

"It gives us a sense of closure but it doesn't bring her back,"

Alvarez said. "We could tell he wasn't a good person, but we didn't

think she was in danger."

Looking back, Alvarez said Hicks showed a propensity toward domestic

violence, by controlling and manipulating her sister.

Shawndre Fulton, 21, was found shot to death in the Mount Vernon Woods

Park on at 1:30 a.m. Nov. 25, 2004. Fulton, who was eight months

pregnant, was shot in the upper body at least seven times.

Police immediately put out an alert looking for Hicks. He was found

two weeks after the shooting in Jacksonville, Fla. and interviewed by

Fairfax homicide detectives. Police reports said Hicks had no fixed

address, but was last known to have lived in the Seven Woods section

of Fairfax County

In addition to being sentenced to life for murder, Hicks also received

40 years for killing a fetus and three years for use of a firearm

during commission of a felony.

Alvarez and her family attended the sentencing on Dec. 8. Fulton's

mother is caring for Fulton's two children, now ages 2 and 4. United

Community Ministries is helping out with some of the expenses.

"The kids are doing real good, but they do ask for their mother," Alvarez said.

In an earlier article, Alvarez had said that her sister was excited

about having a third baby.

Fulton even had a name picked out—Kaya.

Alvarez said she now warns friends who she thinks might be falling

into abusive relationships. She also wants to work with victims of

domestic violence in the future and try to understand what causes it.