Robert Hicks was found guilty Wednesday of second-degree murder in the stabbing death of Curtis Stringe in 2021.
Hicks, 31, was initially charged with first-degree murder after deliberation, but after a weeklong trial and two days of deliberation, a Boulder County jury convicted Hicks on the lesser count of second-degree murder just before 4 p.m. Wednesday.
A jury foreperson told Boulder District Judge Norma Sierra and attorneys that the jurors were “essentially split” on whether prosecutors had proved the first-degree murder charge beyond a reasonable doubt, but were unanimous in the second-degree murder conviction.
Hicks, who remains in custody without bond at the Boulder County Jail, is now set for a sentencing hearing on Sept. 23 following a pre-sentence investigation. He faces from 16 to 48 years in prison on the second-degree murder charge, which is a Class 2 felony.
“We appreciate the jury’s service,” Boulder County District Attorney Michael Dougherty said. “They worked hard to reach the right result. The Boulder Police Department did an excellent job with this murder investigation. It is because of the hard work of the police officers and detectives involved that our trial team was able to disprove the defendant’s false claim of self-defense.
“At sentencing, the defendant will face the consequences for killing Curtis Stringe. Curtis was a member of a loving family. Our team was honored to fight for justice for Curtis, his loved ones, and this community.”
Defense attorneys declined to comment Wednesday as an appeal could be pending.
Prosecutors said the incident on Feb. 14, 2021, started when witnesses saw Hicks punching Stringe in a van parked in a south Boulder parking lot. A city ranger responded and followed the van back to the apartment on East Moorhead Circle where both Hicks and Stringe lived. The ranger found Stringe with injuries to his face, but both men declined to say what happened and police left.
Police said sometime between 8 and 9 p.m. that night, Hicks stabbed Stringe 11 times before later calling 911. Stringe, 34, was taken to the hospital where he later died.
But while Hicks said he stabbed Stringe in self defense in the kitchen, prosecutors said Hicks attacked Stringe in his bedroom as Stringe was getting ready for bed.
Prosecutors pointed to the pattern of the 11 stab wounds and the lack of defensive injuries on Hicks as evidence he was the attacker. They also noted Hicks waited for some time to call 911 and then did not mention anything about Stringe attacking him when he spoke to police.
Both men were intoxicated, which was one of the things defense attorneys brought up in contesting that Hicks was not capable of the deliberation and intent required to find him guilty of first-degree murder.