June 10, 2014 at 10:55 pm

Detroit man accused of shooting parents to be evaluated

Anotonio Hicks during a preliminary examination at the Frank Murphy Hall of Justice in on Tuesday. The exam was adjourned while Hicks' competency is determined. (David Guralnick / The Detroit News)

Detroit— A 19-year-old man charged in the murder of his stepfather and the shooting of his mother has been ordered to undergo a mental competency exam.

Antonio James Hicks, who was charged with wounding his mother, 40-year-old Nicolina Pace, and fatally shooting her fiance, 41-year-old Johnny Clyburn, had been scheduled for a preliminary examination on the charges Tuesday before 36th District Judge Michael Wagner.

The hearing was adjourned after Hicks’ defense attorney William Winters asked for a competency exam for his client.

The request for the competency exam was granted by Wagner. Hicks is expected back in court July 29.

Pace was not in the courtroom but Hicks’ father and some other relatives were. They declined to comment.

Hicks is charged with first-degree murder, assault with intent to murder, and felony firearm in the case.

Investigators said Hicks shot Clyburn following an argument and then shot Pace May 27. The shootings occurred in the family’s home in the 5900 block of Woodhall.

Clyburn, an active-duty airman, had arrived home after his shift at Selfridge Air National Guard Base.

Winters said he has doubts that Hicks understands the case against him.

“There are some substantial and significant doubts about whether this young man understands the nature of what’s happening, the crime itself and there is a significant history that he has about mental health difficulties and it’s something we want psychiatrists to examine him on,” said Winters.

But Pace disagreed.

“I believe Antonio knew exactly what he was doing,” said Pace Tuesday. “The devil asked for Antonio’s soul that day and he gave it to him. Who would do something so evil?”

Pace called her son a “monster” and says she wants to see justice for Clyburn.

“Antonio deserves exactly what he did to John,” said Pace. “ John was a wonderful man ... a wonderful father.

Hicks was angry that he had to return to Florida to live with his father, said Pace.

bwilliams@detroitnews.com
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