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Body Parts Trial Begins In Monroe County

STROUDSBURG — A gruesome murder trial is now underway in the Poconos. Prosecutors are trying to prove that a man from Tobyhanna murdered and then dismembe...
charles hicks body parts

STROUDSBURG -- A gruesome murder trial is now underway in the Poconos.

Prosecutors are trying to prove that a man from Tobyhanna murdered and then dismembered a woman from Scranton more than six years ago.

The woman's body was found in pieces along two interstate highways in the Poconos.

Now Charles Hicks of Tobyhanna is finally in court facing charges for the murder and dismemberment of Deanna Null.

Both the prosecution and defense began detailing the gory and gruesome details.

"Mr. Hicks, how do you feel after waiting more than six years for this trial?"

"No comment," Hicks replied.

Alleged murderer Charles Hicks of Tobyhanna walked into court in Monroe County as prosecutors began to build their case against him.

It was January of 2008 when PennDOT workers in the Poconos came upon body parts in a black trash bag along Interstate 380 in the Poconos.

Prosecutors said in their opening, "initially they thought it was some kind of meat. They opened it up and saw two feet in a bag and part of a left calf."

Prosecutors are arguing that Hicks murdered and dismembered Deanna Null of Scranton.

Her remains were found in eight different locations along Interstate 80 and Interstate 380 in the Poconos.

Hicks said Null was a woman he had sex with for drugs and money.

Jurors began looking at photos and evidence of those severed body parts, graphic photos the defendant watched as well, seemingly unfazed.

First assistant district attorney Michael Mancuso said the body parts were, "all frozen, some of the parts looked like they were washed. It was almost if the person who did this didn't mind the parts being found."

Hicks' defense attorney admitted his client did, indeed, dismember Null, but is not responsible for one important detail.

"I'm going to tell you Mr. Hicks put her hands in the wall. He threw her body parts out of his car. He did not kill her."

Hick's attorney alleges Null had overdosed on alcohol and cocaine. Both were found in her system. The defense alleges that's what killed Null.

Prosecutors called a key state police investigator as one of their first witnesses. The trooper described for the jury the first black trash bag found on Interstate 380.

"A piece of the left calf was sticking out. You can see where it was severed. To me it looked like a relatively clean cut," Pennsylvania State Police Corporal Joey Radziewicz testified.

Investigators went through each of the eight locations where body parts were found. They showed images of the severed legs, torso, head, and internal organs that were found scattered like trash.

Animals had begun to eat parts of her flesh.

The only body parts not found on the highway were her hands which were later found in the investigation in the walls of Hicks' rental home in Tobyhanna.

Both the defense and prosecution agree that this is now a case a jury has the extremely difficult task of listening to over the course of the next couple of weeks.

Testimony is expected to last up to two weeks.

The prosecution began calling witnesses and already covered a significant amount of the evidence.

If convicted of murder, Hicks faces possible life in prison or the death penalty.

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