GBI arrests corrections officer after juvenile inmate death at Waycross RYDC

Thomas Lee Hicks

WAYCROSS, Ga. — UPDATE 8:40 a.m.- GBI said it has arrested corrections officer Thomas Lee Hicks, 30, in the murder of the inmate after he allowed juvenile inmates to participate in a fight game in his presence.

Hicks is charged with one count second-degree murder, two counts of child cruelty and one count of violation of oath of office.


A juvenile died while being held in custody at a detention center last week and the Georgia Bureau of Investigation said it is now investigating.

GBI said in a news release that its Douglas Regional Office was called around 9 a.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 9 to the Waycross Regional Youth Detention Center to investigate after a juvenile was found to be unresponsive.


When he lost consciousness, he “was in the presence of a staff member and other juveniles,” investigators said.

The boy, who was not identified by the GBI, was taken to Memorial Health Hospital in Savannah and later died.

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GBI said anyone with information is encouraged to contact the Waycross RYDC at (404) 291-0208 or the GBI Region 4 Douglas Office at (912) 389-4103. Anonymous tips can also be submitted by calling 1-800-597-TIPS (8477), online at https://gbi.georgia.gov/submit-tips-online, or by downloading the See Something, Send Something mobile app.

Once the investigation is complete, GBI said the case file will be given to the Waycross Judicial Circuit District Attorney’s Office for review.

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