“He should receive no less than the maximum (sentence) permitted by law,” Wilson said.
The jury acquitted Hicks of a charge of first-degree murder, which could have resulted in a life sentence.
The body was discovered by Pressman’s girlfriend, Karen Haws, who had repeatedly tried to contact Pressman for days. She and Pressman’s mother, Betty Pressman, were present for the sentencing.
“The impact of this crime took a part of my heart and soul,” Haws wrote in a letter Wilson read in court.
“He is vicious and evil and wicked,” Betty Pressman said in court. “Darrin was a good person. ... This monster took advantage of him.”
“When he (Hicks) does pass away, he will stand before the Almighty Judge,” the mother said. She asked Hicks to look at a picture she was holding of her son, but Hicks looked away.
Both women said Pressman was starting to turn his life around when it was ended by Hicks.
Hicks has a long history of violent crime — assaults, handgun violations and property crimes — in Maryland and Virginia dating to the 1980s, Wilson told Dwyer.
That included an attempted bank robbery in 2009 in Anne Arundel County, he said. A judge in that county gave Hicks a sentence of time served on the provision that he be driven to Hagerstown by his daughter and enter a treatment program, Wilson said.
“This crime should have never happened, but for the Anne Arundel courts,” Wilson told Dwyer.
Recalling the trial, Dwyer said there seemed to be no reason for the crime other than Pressman planned to move out of the apartment.
The judge told Hicks he appeared to have “a history of just lashing out if you hear bad news or someone just looks at you funny.”
Hicks showed no remorse at the sentencing. When asked if he had anything to say before the sentence was handed down, he directed an obscene comment at Haws.
Assistant Public Defender Kathleen McClernan asked the judge to recommend Hicks serve his sentence at Patuxent Correctional Institution in Jessup, Md., in order to have access to programs for inmates with mental health issues. Dwyer said he would take that under advisement.
Asked if Hicks’ comment to Haws was indicative of his mental health issues McClernan said, “I’m not a social worker, but if I had to take a guess, yes.”