May 16, 2014

Murder defendant sentenced to death for killing of mother and young son

“Absolutely I’m sorry about what happened,” Cedric Ricks testified Friday.

Cedric Ricks testified Friday that he wanted to die, and a Tarrant County jury sentenced him to death a few hours later for murdering his girlfriend and her 8-year-old son.

Ricks was unable to articulate in court why he stabbed Roxann Sanchez, 30 and her son Anthony Figueroa to death last year in their Bedford apartment.

“I don’t know, I don’t know!” he screamed from the stand. “I wish I could bring them back, right now, right now. But I can’t do that. I used to be able to fix things. But I can’t fix this. I can’t fix this. With all the money in the world I can’t fix it. That’s how I grew up. You fix it. But I can’t fix it. And I’m sorry I have to meet everybody like this. I don’t want everyone to look at me like I’m a monster. I tried to kill myself two or three times. But I can’t even do that right.”

Ricks said he rejected a plea offer that would have sent him to prison for life because he wanted to die.

He was convicted of the murders last week after testimony from witnesses including Sanchez’s other son, 12-year-old Marcus Figueroa. The boy said he escaped death by mimicking the sound of his little brother’s last breath.

During the sentencing portion of the trial, prosecutors Bob Gill and Robert Huseman called Ricks a psychopath and said death was the only sentence that applied.

Gill said Ricks killed the two and tried to kill the other boy to eliminate witnesses in a pending assault case in which he was accused of strangling Sanchez and repeatedly banging her head against the floor.

Ricks testified Friday that he needed to face his fate in state District Judge Mollee Westfall’s courtroom and then move forward.

Anger issues

Gill summarized testimony about four assault cases in which Ricks was named as the assailant, and then asked Ricks if he believes he overreacted.

“You have a long history of overreacting,” Gill said.

Ricks testified that he has anger issues, but he said people have exaggerated.

“Once you analyze your situation there are always things you think you could have done differently,” he said. “Everyone has skeletons in their closet. Everyone has a full closet. It’s just that you have mine open. It’s not that it’s overflowing, but it is maxed out.”

Ricks would not talk specifically about what happened the day Sanchez and her son were killed.

“It’s irrelevant what happened that night,” Ricks said. “The jury made a decision to convict me on the facts that were presented. Maybe if I had testified [in the guilt/innocence phase] it would have been different.”

The jury saw a video taken three days before Sanchez died that showed the family playing together. Isaiah, Ricks’ and Sanchez’s 9-month-old son, smiled and crawled through a tunnel made of wire and paper. Anthony Figueroa played a game of peek-a-boo with the baby at the tunnel’s entrance.

Ricks, Sanchez and Marcus Figueroa could be heard off-camera cooing and laughing.

But Ricks said he knew his relationship with Sanchez was not working. He said he pawned jewelry and received $700, which he planned to use to move out of their apartment in early May.

Ricks said he consistently lost his temper in emotional relationships with women and would then lose control.

“Absolutely I’m sorry about what happened,” Ricks testified. “Who wouldn’t be? I know they will never forgive me, probably. But I ask for their forgiveness. I’ll probably never hear it.”

The case is the first time since 2012 Tarrant County prosecutors have sought the death penalty. That year, Steve Lawayane Nelson was sent to Death Row after being convicted of murdering Arlington minister Clint Dobson.

Related content



Editor's Choice Videos