JUDGE DISMISSES MANSLAUGHTER CHARGE

The Post-Standard

A manslaughter charge has been dismissed against a Syracuse man accused of fatally wounding a 66-year-old man during a fight at a New Year's Eve party. County Judge William J. Burke dismissed a charge of second-degree manslaughter and two counts of second-degree assault on March 15 against David Hicks, ruling there was insufficient evidence for a county grand jury to indict him on those charge.

Burke did not, however, dismiss a charge of criminally negligent homicide against Hicks in connection with the death of Robert Morrison.

Burke found no evidence that Hicks acted recklessly, or that he intended to cause Morrison serious physical injury, said Hicks' lawyer, George Hildebrandt.

Burke lowered Hicks' bail Monday in light of the dismissed charges. He reduced bail from $10,000 to $2,000. Still, Hicks probably won't be able to post bail, Hildebrandt said.

Burke also dismissed a third-degree assault charge against Hicks' girlfriend, Mary LaMontagne, 36, of 204 Merriman Ave.

Morrison died Jan. 7 from injuries he suffered in a scuffle at a Dec. 31 party with LaMontagne and Hicks, 36, also of 204 Merriman Ave., Syracuse police said.

Copyright, 1991, The Herald Company