Westville man facing 15 years in prison after using truck as weapon

Special to the Advertiser

A Westville man was found guilty March 28 of intentionally driving his truck into an ATV and injuring the driver of the ATV when it flipped over, State Attorney Larry Basford said.

A Holmes County jury deliberated just over 20 minutes before finding Jesse David Hicks, 31, guilty of aggravated battery and leaving the scene of an accident with injuries. Judge Colby Peel set sentencing for this month.

“A second-degree felony is normally punishable by a maximum of 15 years in prison but Holmes County Chief Prosecutor Jacob Cook is seeking to have Hicks sentenced as a Prison Releasee Reoffender, meaning he will have to serve a mandatory 15-year sentence,” a news release from Basford’s office said.

The defendant was released from prison in October 2022, about six months before his arrest in this case.

“Cook called four witnesses and presented evidence gathered by the Florida Highway Patrol and the Holmes County Sheriff’s Office showing that the victim was stopped on Arrant Road at County 181 when they saw the defendant approaching in his truck,” the news release said.

Testimony showed Hicks ran into the ATV and pushed it into a ditch, where it overturned. The evidence showed that the victim had never met Hicks and was out with his wife and 2-year-old granddaughter to take her swimming at Lake Cassidy when he was struck.

“The defendant fled but later was spotted near the scene and taken into custody by the FHP and Holmes County Sheriff’s Office deputies,” the news release said.

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