May 5, 2014

Man faces death penalty in Bedford double homicide

A 12-year-old boy survived his stab wounds and an 8-month-old boy was found unharmed after the May 1, 2013, attack.

A Tarrant County prosecutor warned jurors Monday that they are not prepared for the brutality and horror of this case.

The bodies of Roxann Sanchez, 30, and her son, Anthony Figueroa, 8, were found May 1, 2013, by Bedford police at their blood-splattered apartment in the 1400 block of Park Place Avenue. Anthony’s brother, Marcus Figueroa, 12, was severly wounded in the attack. An 8-month-old boy was unharmed.

Cedric Allen Ricks, Sanchez’s estranged boyfriend, was indicted on a capital murder charge in connection with the slayings. His trial began Monday.

Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty for Ricks, who rejected an offer of life without parole by prosecutors earlier this year. It is the first time Tarrant County has sought the death penalty since 2012, when Steve Lawayane Nelson was sent to Death Row after being convicted in the murder of Arlington pastor Clint Dobson.

Tamara Butts, Ricks’ cousin, testified Monday that Ricks called her shortly after the murders were believed to have occurred. Ricks told Butts that he did something bad but would not tell her what, Butts testified.

Butts handed her phone to Ricks’ uncle, Joseph Sanders, who also testified Monday.

Sanders said Ricks told him that he had “killed Roxy and the boys,” but his uncle did not want to believe that.

“I said that could not possibly be true,” Sanders testified.

Ricks asked his relatives to go to his apartment and get his 8-month-old son, Butts said. Instead, Butts called 911, she testified.

“I urged him to turn himself in,” Butts testified. “He [Ricks] said he wasn’t going to jail.”

A few minutes later Marcus called 911, telling dispatchers that “my mom’s boyfriend just killed my mom and other brother. Please hurry. Please.”

The 8-month-old boy could be heard crying in the background.

When police arrived at the scene, they found Marcus standing behind the front door, covered in blood from wounds to the back of his head.

“There was a lot of heavy damage,” said Clayton Baxley, Arlington patrol officer. “There were severe lacerations in the back of his head. You could see all the way through to his skull.”

Marcus was taken to Cook Children’s Medical Center in Fort Worth by helicopter ambulance, Baxley said. Police followed because the suspect in the stabbings was free and they were concerned that he might try to kill Marcus at the hospital, Baxley said.

Less than three hours later, Ricks was in jail after being tracked through his cellphone to Ardmore, Okla. The Oklahoma Highway Patrol found Ricks driving Sanchez’s Nissan Altima and arrested him.

Testimony was expected to continue Tuesday in state District Judge Mollee Westfall’s court.

This report includes information from the Star-Telegram archives

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