Taney County Prosecuting Attorney, Jeff Merrell, announced today that DUSTY RAY HICKS, DOB: 5/27/1987, of Greene County, Missouri, entered a guilty plea Thursday afternoon, December 18, 2014, to six (6) felonies, in the Taney County Circuit Court. Hicks pleaded guilty to two (2) counts of murder in the second degree, two (2) counts of armed criminal action, and two (2) counts of felonious restraint, pursuant to a plea agreement with the Taney County Prosecutor’s Office. In exchange for Hicks’ guilty pleas, the two (2) counts of murder were amended from first-degree to second-degree, and his potential sentences would be capped. Special Circuit Court Judge Calvin Holden accepted Hicks’ guilty plea, and scheduled formal sentencing for February 19, 2015.
The maximum sentence for murder in the second degree is life in prison – with the possibility of parole. There is no statutory maximum sentence for the crimes of armed criminal action, though the plea agreement states that there will be a cap of fifty (50) years for Hicks’ guilty pleas to those two (2) counts. The maximum sentence for felonious restraint is seven (7) years in prison. Pursuant to the plea agreement, Hicks’ sentences are to be concurrent, and his lawyer may argue for less than the maximum sentences recommended by the Taney County Prosecutor.
Dusty Hicks was indicted by a Taney County grand jury in 2012 on those felonies for his role in the disappearance and deaths of Russell and Rebecca Porter, of Willard, Missouri, occurring April 18, 2011. Tony Friend was previously sentenced to life in prison without parole for his guilty pleas to murder in the first degree. Tony’s son, Phillip Friend, previously pled guilty to murder in the second degree and felonious restraint. Tony’s wife, Windy Friend, was found guilty by a jury earlier this year of first-degree murder, and was sentenced to life in prison without parole. Robert Campbell still faces charges for murder in the first degree.