McNeal pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter in a deal with prosecutors. The plea deal offered a sentencing range between seven and a half and fifteen years behind bars. He will also be required to serve five years of supervised release.
McNeal and his attorneys had contended Hicks reached into McNeal’s pockets when the two men crossed paths on the sidewalk. Thinking he was being robbed, McNeal stabbed Hicks eight times – two of the subsequent wounds were at least five inches deep, Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael Leibman said.
McNeal had been shot twice before, his attorney Vida Johnson said, accounting for his quick reaction.
Johnson said McNeal had tried to plead guilty since early 2012. He wanted to take responsibility for the crime, Johnson said.
Hicks’ mother, Alice Hicks, told Judge Morin that McNeal’s desire to plead guilty didn’t lessen her pain. She said her son wasn’t a violent person.
“I don’t know why people treat one another like animals, like dogs,” Hicks said. “I don’t know what’s going on.”
Her son, who died on Father’s Day, left behind six children, she said.
Addressing the court, McNeal said he felt remorse over what happened.
“I would like to apologize to the decedent’s family for the pain I’ve caused them, plus my family, too,” McNeal said.
Sentencing documents are below: