Alleged Farm Fresh shooter pleads not guilty

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Brian Hicks (Courtesy of Virginia Peninsula Regional Jail)
Brian Hicks (Courtesy of Virginia Peninsula Regional Jail)

At an arraignment hearing Monday, Brian Alexander Hicks, a 55-year-old Woodbridge man accused of a fatal shooting at the Norge Farm Fresh in April, pleaded not guilty to murder charges.

According to records from Williamsburg-James City County Circuit Court, Hicks pleaded not guilty to felony charges of second-degree murder and use of a firearm in the commission of a felony. He will face a bench trial on February 22.

First-degree murder is considered as premeditated, while second-degree murder is still an intentional killing but not considered premeditated.

Hicks is accused of shooting 34-year-old Gabriel Ryan Maness, of Providence Forge, multiple times around 8 a.m. on April 17 inside the supermarket at 115 Norge Lane.

When police arrived on scene, Hicks was reportedly standing about five feet away from the victim’s body on aisle six, near the middle of the store.

Hicks had already placed the .45 caliber handgun, believed to be used in the crime, on the floor prior to police’s arrival, court documents show. He then surrendered to police and was taken into custody without incident.

Five shell casings were found near the suspect and the victim, and a medical examiner discovered five gunshot wounds in the victim’s body, according to documents filed with the Williamsburg-James City County Circuit Court.

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