Kenneth Lee Hicks, 52, of St. Helens, Oregon was sentenced to life in prison for the 1982 murder of his teen neighbor, who he strangled and raped before taking her life, according to Oregon Live.
For three decades, the death of 17-year-old Lori Billingsley of Aloha — whose body was found badly beaten, lying lifeless in a drainage ditch on October 10, 1982, on Southwest Miller Hill Road — was a cold case murder until December, 2010, when sperm taken from Billingsley’s body matched Hicks’, who was 19-years-old at the time, DNA.
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He was immediately taken into custody and convicted of the brutal rape and murder of Lori Billingsley, who he had a crush on, and was sentenced to life in prison on Monday.
Attorney Bracken McKee stated that after Judge Thomas W. Kohl sentenced Hicks to life in prison with a maximum of 20 years at the Washington County Circuit Court, he made no initiative to make a statement, which led McKee to believe that he wasn’t at all remorseful over the brutal murder of his teen neighbor, according to KOIN.
“Until he accepts responsibility, and starts the healing process, there is no change, and I don’t expect there will be.”
Before Hicks was sentenced, Billingsley’s sister Vicki spoke to him against her brothers’ will, who claims it will only bring “emotional pain.” However, Vickie continued with her plan to speak to Hicks as she wanted to keep her mother’s promise by bringing her “sister’s killer to justice.”
“There are no words that can even come close to express how losing my sister impacted my life,” she said in court to Hicks.
She also went on to say how she slipped into a deep, dark depression following the death of her sister, which led to her loss in faith and in God.
“You handed us a life sentence,” Vicki continued. “A life sentence that would be filled with grief, pain and loss. So whatever the outcome is, I assure you, Lori and I have already been dealt the harshest sentence of all.”
“I pray that you find God and ask him for forgiveness.”
At the end of her speech, she told Hicks that she and her family forgave him for murdering her sister 33 years ago.