35-year-old murder case may be nearing an end:

The Salt Lake Tribune
By Nate Carlisle
Link to Article

Salt Lake City, UT

But ex-BYU student must say why and how he killed classmate.

The man accused of murdering a Brigham Young University student in 1974 is "very likely" to plead guilty in the case, one of his lawyers said Tuesday.

One agreement under discussion also would require the defendant, Gerald W. Hicker, explain how and why he killed 21-year-old Barbara Jean Rocky.

"There's a possibility at this point he is going to plead," said Deputy Salt Lake County District Attorney Vince Meister. "What we're talking about as part of that plea is he will allocute."

One of Hicker's defense attorneys, McCaye Christianson, said it is "very likely" her client will plead guilty. She did not say to what charge. Hicker is charged in 3rd District Court in Salt Lake City with murder in the first degree, a capital crime.

Hicker, 58, on Monday waived the remainder of his preliminary hearing, essentially conceding there is enough evidence to proceed to trial. Hicker is accused of shooting and killing Rocky on March 11, 1974, in Big Cottonwood Canyon. A utility worker found her naked body the next day.

No arrests were made until 2007, when re-tested evidence allegedly found a trace of Hicker's DNA, placing him at the crime scene. Witness testimony at a preliminary hearing earlier this year claimed Hicker, who was a BYU classmate of Rocky at the time, discussed setting up Rocky for a robbery because she romantically rejected Hicker. A witness also said Hicker knew how many times Rocky was shot with a pistol.

Hicker is scheduled for arraignment Aug. 31. He has been in the Salt Lake County jail since his arrest in November 2007.



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