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Detective: Penn. murderer says he killed in Texas

November 20, 2014 GMT

DALLAS (AP) — A man who was sentenced to death in Pennsylvania this week for the 2008 killing and dismemberment of a woman told investigators that he also killed women in Texas, where he used to live.

Charles Hicks, 40, was sentenced to death Tuesday after being convicted of first-degree murder in the killing of 36-year-old Deanna Null, whose severed remains were found in trash bags along two eastern Pennsylvania highways six years ago. Authorities say Hicks severely beat Null and started dismembering her while she was still alive. Her hands were found hidden in the walls of his home.

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Hicks lived in the Dallas-Fort Worth area prior to moving to Pennsylvania in late 2007 for a job with a defense contractor, according to Wendy Serfass, a detective with the Monroe County, Pennsylvania, district attorney’s office. Texas Rangers have known since at least 2009 about Hicks’ claims to have killed in Texas, she said. But Hicks declined to speak with investigators until Monday, when prosecutors offered to remove the death penalty as a punishment if he provided information about crimes in Texas. But the information wasn’t satisfactory to investigators, Serfass said.

She declined to say how many killings Hicks claimed to have committed, but she said investigators are reviewing multiple unsolved homicides in North Texas.

“I don’t think this is done as far as Texas is concerned,” she said.

Texas Department of Public Safety Sgt. Lonny Haschel said in a statement Thursday that Rangers are investigating the claims with the help of other Texas law enforcement agencies and that the department had nothing else to say about the matter.

Hicks’ lawyer during the trial, Monroe County public defender Jason LaBar, didn’t immediately respond to a phone message Thursday seeking comment.