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Monroe County man in custody for Thursday murder



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Garry Hicks, 62, was arrested in connection to the murder of James Michael Troxal on Jan. 24. Courtesy Photo

A 62-year-old Monroe County man is in custody for the Thursday morning murder of a 43-year-old Bloomington man who he thought was trying to rob him. 

Garry Hicks was sent to jail for the alleged murder of James Michael Troxal at Hicks’ home east of Bloomington, according to a press release from the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office.

Troxal suffered at least one gunshot wound to his chest, according to a release from the coroner.

A press release from the Monroe County Sheriff's Office detailed the events that led to Hicks' arrest. 

Hicks and his common law wife, Sandra Ritter, had been allowing Troxal to live in their detached garage for the last few weeks. 

Hicks, Ritter and Connie Richardson, a neighbor who was over at the time of the incident, told Monroe County detective Andrew Rushing they were inside at the time of the incident. They said they heard a loud boom and looked outside to see Troxal laying in the backyard.

Later in the day, Richardson admitted to hiding the shotgun used for the killing in her car after she saw it inside the house. She said she didn’t know why she did this, she just panicked, she told police.

She also told detectives she believed Hicks had killed Troxal. Contrary to what the three told Rushing earlier, Richardson said Hicks was not in the house at the time of the shooting.  

Ritter and Richardson heard the shots from inside. Richardson became physically ill, left the room, and when she came back Hicks was back in the house, frantically asking what they should do. 

Law enforcement went to the residence to get Ritter and Hicks for more questioning. Hicks asked to get a new pair of socks before leaving, and investigators saw a used shotgun shell in the sock drawer. 

Ritter told investigators Hicks had recently received a lot of money and was paranoid, according to the press release. Ritter also said Hicks had been seeing people that weren’t there. 

She said Hicks had been carrying a shotgun around for a few weeks because he was worried someone would break into his home. Troxal had left the garage, and when he came back Hicks mistook him for a robber and shot.  

Hicks told police he was convinced it wasn’t Troxal coming into the garage because Troxal wouldn’t be trying to open the door “in that way,” the press release said. 

Hicks was put in jail for alleged murder and possession of a firearm by a serious violent felon. He has a criminal history in Florida for aggravated assault with a weapon without intent to kill in 1995.

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