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.