Ex-Officer Arrested After Child Dies After 'Fight Game' At Detention Center

By Bill Galluccio

August 17, 2022

prison bars all locked up
Photo: Getty Images

An ex-corrections officer from Georgia is facing murder charges related to the death of a child at a juvenile detention facility. The teenage inmate died after participating in a "fight game" at Waycross Regional Youth Detention Center on August 9. The teen's name and age were not released.

The teen was knocked unconscious during a fight and was rushed to the hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

Prosecutors said that former prison guard Thomas Lee Hicks, 30, "allowed juveniles to participate in a fight game in his presence" at the facility.

He was taken into custody and is facing charges of second-degree murder, cruelty to children, and violation of an oath of office.

"The Georgia Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ) is deeply saddened by the passing of one of our youths. We send our heartfelt condolence to the youth's family, friends, and loved ones, and they remain in our thoughts and prayers. Upon learning this afternoon of the findings of the GBI investigation, I immediately terminated Mr. Thomas Hicks from employment with the Department. The actions of Mr. Hicks are deplorable and do not represent the core values of this agency," Georgia Department of Juvenile Justice Commissioner Tyrone Oliver said in a statement to WJCL.

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