TARRANT COUNTY (CBSDFW.COM) – A killer with a history of violence against women was sentenced to death on Friday for savagely stabbing his girlfriend and her little boy last year inside their Bedford apartment.
Jurors deliberated about seven hours before assessing the ultimate punishment for Cedric Allen Ricks, a 39-year-old medical assistant who prosecutors characterized as a “psychopath.”
Last week, on May 8, jurors deliberated less than an hour before convicting Ricks of capital murder for the slayings of his 30-year-old girlfriend, Roxann Sanchez, and her 8- year-old son, Anthony Figueroa.
Sanchez’s 12-year-old son, Marcus Figueroa, was also brutally stabbed but played dead and survived. A third boy, Isaiah Ricks — the 9-month-old son that Sanchez and Ricks shared — was the only one uninjured in the massacre.
During the two-week trial in Judge Mollee Westfall’s court, prosecutors Bob Gill and Robert Huseman presented evidence that on the evening of May 1, 2013, Sanchez and her three sons returned to their apartment in the 1400 block of Park Place Boulevard after a trip to Walmart for groceries. Shortly after they pulled up to their apartment, Ricks came outside and started cursing at Sanchez. Inside the apartment the argument escalated and turned violent. Ricks threw Sanchez down and started beating and strangling her, prompting Marcus and Anthony to intervene to try and protect their mother.
Ricks grabbed a kitchen knife and ferociously stabbed Sanchez in front of her sons. Afterward he turned his rage on Anthony,who was stabbed and cut more than 40 times. Terrified, Marcus ran into the closet in his room where he tried to call 911 with his cellphone. When Ricks jerked open the door, Marcus dropped the phone and grabbed Ricks’ knife, severely cutting his hands. The boy fled into the living room where Ricks caught him, threw him down and began stabbing him in the head, neck and back.
When Ricks stopped and walked away, Marcus tried to get up but Ricks returned and started stabbing him some more. Marcus testified that Ricks finally stopped when he made a gurgling sound similar to the one he heard his dying brother make minutes earlier.
Marcus laid motionless on the floor near the bodies of his mother and brother while Ricks took a shower, changed clothes, doctored his wounds and packed a bag. When he heard Ricks leave, Marcus called 911. Police and paramedics quickly responded to the scene and Marcus was taken by helicopter ambulance to an area hospital.
Ricks, meanwhile, called two family members and told them that he had “killed Roxy and her boys” and asked them to go to the apartment and get his son Isaiah.
The relatives called 911.
Authorities quickly traced Ricks’ cellphone and determined he was headed north, possibly en route to his home state of Illinois. Shortly after 11:00 p.m., two troopers with the Oklahoma Highway Patrol arrested Ricks about 70 miles across the Texas/Oklahoma border, driving Sanchez’s car.
He was taken to the Garvin County Jail, where he was beaten by inmates after they learned what he had done. Shortly afterward, he waived extradition and was returned to Tarrant County where he faced the death penalty for capital murder.
In their effort to send Ricks to Death Row, during the penalty phase of the trial prosecutors presented evidence of Ricks’ violent history. Among other things, they called Ricks’ ex-wife and two ex- girlfriends, all of whom characterized Ricks as a dangerous man with an explosive temper who verbally and physically abused them.
His ex-wife recalled the time when Ricks threw her down, threatened to kill her, and repeatedly stabbed the ground around her head and face with a knife. He also once choked her until she lost consciousness in front of an Illinois police station during a child visitation exchange. She also testified that after she gave birth to Ricks’ son, he told her in the hospital: “I hope it dies.”
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