Man charged in body parts murder

March 9, 2008 1:11:39 PM PDT
State police say a man has been charged with killing a woman whose dismembered remains were found dumped along highways in the Poconos more than a month ago. Charles Ray Hicks, 33, was arrested in the homicide of 36-year-old Deanna Null, police at the Swiftwater barracks said Saturday.

Police said the victim's severed head was found near his house, and they also found two severed human hands, wrapped in newspaper, hidden in his bathroom. Authorities have not said whether the hands belonged to the victim.

Investigators also found work boots in the trunk of his car with bloodstains, which Hicks said he could not explain, police said.

Hicks, a former Texas resident now living in Coolbaugh Township, was charged with homicide, aggravated assault, tampering with evidence and abuse of corpse. He told reporters at his arraignment Saturday afternoon that authorities had the wrong man.

"These guys are telling me I did something I didn't do," he said.

Police said Hicks told investigators that he had smoked crack with and had sex with Null a few times but denied killing her and couldn't remember the last time he saw her. Police said he was the last person seen with Null.

Null, described as homeless, was supposed to be an alibi witness at a man's robbery trial, but did not testify and the man was convicted. Her remains were found Jan. 29 in trash bags strewn along Interstates 80 and 380.

Police said they found a hacksaw in Hicks' attic and new trash bags identical to those containing Null's body parts along the interstates.

Hicks was being held without bail in Monroe County Correctional Facility pending a March 14 court hearing. It was unclear whether he had an attorney.