Man who murdered teen neighbor in Aloha in 1982 sentenced to pri - KPTV - FOX 12

Man who murdered teen neighbor in Aloha in 1982 sentenced to prison

Posted: Updated: Jul 13, 2015 08:44 PM
Kenneth Hicks in court Monday. He was sentenced to life in prison with parole possible after 20 years. Kenneth Hicks in court Monday. He was sentenced to life in prison with parole possible after 20 years.
Lori Billingsley, 1982 Aloha murder victim. Lori Billingsley, 1982 Aloha murder victim.

Nearly 33 years after an Aloha teenager was raped and killed, her neighbor was sentenced to life in prison for her murder.

Last week, a jury convicted 52-year-old Kenneth Hicks of two counts of aggravated murder in the 1982 death of 17-year-old Lori Billingsley.

It is believed to be the oldest case prosecuted in Washington County.

Hicks, who was Billingsley’s neighbor, was one of the original potential suspects, but there wasn’t enough evidence to arrest him at the time.

In 2013, improved technology led to matching Hicks’ DNA to microscopic evidence found at the crime scene, according to the sheriff's office.

Vickie Billingsley, who was 13 years old when her sister was murdered, spoke to Hicks before he was sentenced.

“There are no words that can even come close to express how losing my sister impacted my life,” she said.

Still, Vickie Billingsley explained as best as she could.

She told Hicks that she fell into depression after her sister was killed.

She told him she lost the opportunity to tell her sister she loved her.

She told him that she carried pain and anguish for herself and their mother.

She told him that she lost faith in herself, other people and God.

“You handed us a life sentence,” Vickie Billingsley told Hicks. “A life sentence that would be filled with grief, pain and loss. So whatever the outcome is, I assure you, Lori and I have already been dealt the harshest sentence of all.”

But Vickie Billingsley also told Hicks that she and her family forgive him.

“I pray that you find God and ask him for forgiveness,” she said.

A few minutes later, a Washington County judge sentenced Kenneth Hicks to life in prison with a minimum of 20 years, pursuant to the statute in effect at the time of the murder.

Hicks did not make any statements in court.

Lori Billingsley was found in a drainage ditch on Southwest Miller Hill Road on Oct. 10, 1982.

She was raped, mutilated and killed.

“If his object was simply to take her life, it was so much beyond that, what he did to her,” said Det. Michael O’Connell. “It's unspeakable.”

O’Connell was a new deputy when Lori Billingsley was murdered.

He said the case stuck with him and other people working in the Washington County Sheriff’s Office at the time.

“It's just something you can't, just because it goes cold, you can't just sweep it under the rug and just ignore it,” he said.”

O’Connell reopened the case in 2010 and served a search warrant for Hicks’ DNA.

His DNA matched a DNA profile from the Lori Billingsley homicide, according to the sheriff’s office.

Hicks was arrested in 2013.

O’Connell said Hicks’ trial was difficult, but rewarding.

“I don’t think we’d be here today without the quality work that detectives from 1982 did,” he said.

O’Connell also credited the work of the deputy district attorneys for Hicks’ conviction.

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