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Adrienne Emily HICKSON





Classification: Murderer
Characteristics: Turbulent relationship
Number of victims: 1
Date of murder: December 21, 2005
Date of arrest: 4 days after
Date of birth: 1981
Victim profile: Shawn Washington, 24 (her boyfriend)
Method of murder: Stabbing with knife
Location: Duluth, Gwinnett County, Georgia, USA
Status: Alford plea. Sentenced to 5 years in prison in June 2007. Released in 2010
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Pretty, ambitious, 24-year-old law student Adrienne Hickson was looking forward to a career in criminal law, and to spending her life with her college sweetheart, Shawn Washington. After college, she got into a prestigious law school in Washington, D.C. while Shawn got a full-time job in Atlanta. They stayed together despite the 600 miles separating them. But, after a year apart, the long-distance relationship was showing signs of strain. When Adrienne went to Atlanta to visit Shawn in December, 2005, they fought constantly. She began to time him when he went out and called constantly to keep tabs on him.

On December 21, after a loud argument in the parking lot of Shawn's apartment, the two decided to take the fight inside. Ten minutes later, Shawn stumbled back out, covered in blood and clutching his shoulder. While friends rushed him to the hospital, Adrienne got in her car and went home to her family in South Carolina. She came back on Christmas night to visit Shawn in the hospital but discovered he was dead -- and there was a warrant out for her arrest.

In June, 2007, the former law student found herself in a courtroom, not as an attorney, but as a defendant. Her defense claimed she was a battered woman; the prosecutor said that Adrienne was the one with a history of violence. When the jury deadlocked, Adrienne took an Alford plea, which meant she accepted punishment, without admitting guilt. She was sentenced to five years in prison.


Woman charged in slaying

The Augusta Chronicle

December 30, 2005

AIKEN - A 24-year-old Aiken woman is sitting in a Georgia jail on a murder charge, accused of stabbing her boyfriend four days before Christmas.

Adrienne Emily Hickson, of the 200 block of Magnolia Lake Road, was arrested by Gwinnett County police on Christmas Day and charged with murder and aggravated assault.

Gwinnett County police say she stabbed Shawn Washington, 24, several times Dec. 21 at his apartment in the 3400 block of Sweetwater Road in Duluth, Ga.

He died on Christmas Day at Gwinnett Medical Center, said Cpl. Darren Moloney, a spokesman for the Gwinnett County Police Department.

Ms. Hickson is being held without bond at Gwinnett County Detention Center.

Isaac Washington, Mr. Washington's brother, said the couple began fighting because Ms. Hickson believed her boyfriend of several years was having an affair.

"She just started acting crazy, trying to bite him and stuff for no reason," he said.

The couple had been living together in Duluth, he said. Ms. Hickson - who gave police an Aiken address when arrested - had returned from her studies at Howard University's law school in Washington, D.C., he said.

Howard University officials confirmed her status as a student Thursday.

According to a police report, Shawn Washington was stabbed multiple times, including in the chest, and was taken to a hospital by friends.

Police issued an arrest warrant for Ms. Hickson for aggravated assault the day of the stabbing, Cpl. Moloney said, but "she was not found until Christmas Day, when she went to the hospital."

That's when she learned Shawn Washington had died, he said, and she was arrested.

The police report states that Ms. Hickson "passed out" upon learning of Shawn Washington's death and was put in a wheelchair in a "quiet room" by hospital staff after "causing a scene in the emergency room" and running into a glass door.

She'd also dressed herself in hospital scrubs to disguise herself as an employee, the report states.

Isaac Washington said he hadn't spoken with her family but said his family was "hurting."


Central High Graduate Stabbed To Death In Atlanta

Thursday, December 29, 2005

Funeral services are Monday for a 2000 Central High School graduate who was stabbed to death in Atlanta just before Christmas.

Services will be at Taylor Funeral Home for Shawn Washington, 24.

His girlfriend, Adrienne Emily Hickson, 24, of Aiken, S.C., has been charged with his murder.

He was stabbed Dec. 21 in his Duluth apartment. A friend of the victim told the Atlanta Journal Constitution that she and her boyfriend were sitting outside in a car when it happened.

Monique Doss of Lawrenceville said Mr. Washington had gone to tell the girlfriend she needed to gather her things and leave.

Ms. Doss said he returned after about 10 minutes, bleeding and with a blank look on his face. He said the girlfriend had stabbed him and he kept saying, "I'm gone, I'm gone," as they drove to the hospital, she told the newspaper.

The Journal Constitution said Ms. Hickman, who is a law student at Howard University in Washington, D.C., found out her boyfriend had died when she went to visit him in the hospital on Christmas Day. She was arrested that day.

The couple had begun dating when they were both students at Tennessee State University. A brother of the victim told the newspaper they had a stormy relationship.

Shawn Washington drove a bread truck for the Flowers Baking Company in Lilburn.

He was a member of Trinity Baptist Church, where he served on the Usher Board.

His late grandfather was Woodroe Washington.

Survivors include his mother, Karien Sewell; father, Isaac (Patricia) Washington; sisters, Chiara Beck, Chekilla Miller; brother, Isaac T. Washington; grandparents, Florence Sewell and Eddie Mae Washington; aunts, Bettye Moss, Gwendolyn (Melvin) Ruffin, Darlene (Sylvester) Ware, Elizabeth Ray, Henrietta Hines, Maryann Washington, Annie Lee Washington; and uncles, Chestley Sewell, Gregory Sewell, Dale Sewell, Monroe Washington, Johnnie Washington, Charles Stevens and Henry Stevens.

Funeral services will be at noon in the chapel with Pastor Steve Underwood officiating. Burial will be at Forest Hills Cemetery.



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