Rock Falls man charged in December standoff, has 3 other felony cases pending

Dayton Hicks free under Pretrial Fairness Act pending Dec. 13 hearing for all 4

Dayton J. Hicks

MORRISON – A Rock Falls man with a history of weapons charges, who was arrested 10 months ago after an armed standoff with police, was charged Thursday with three felonies in the incident, which means he now has four ongoing felony cases in Whiteside County Court.

Dayton J. Hicks, 28, was arrested Monday, and after a court appearance, was freed under the new law allowing pretrial release.

Hicks, formerly of Dixon, first was arrested around 10:30 a.m. Dec. 5 after a five-hour standoff in Yeowardsville in rural Rock Falls.

At the time, he was wanted on charges filed July 25, 2022, accusing him of being a felon in possession of a firearm, which is punishable by two to 10 years in prison, reckless discharge of firearm, punishable by one to three years, and misdemeanor aggravated assault.

According to court records, Hicks used a handgun to shoot at a Rock Falls man from a moving vehicle that July 5.

He posted $5,000 of his $50,000 bond and was released. He pleaded not guilty Dec. 19.

On Aug. 18, Hicks was charged with possession of fewer than 15 grams of cocaine, punishable by one to three years in prison, and illegal possession of adult use cannabis, a misdemeanor.

He was released on a $20,000 recognizance bond, and appeared in court Sept. 18, where he pleaded not guilty.

Hicks failed to appear two days later at a hearing in the firearms case, however, and on Sept. 22, a warrant was issued for his arrest.

He was arrested Monday. His new charges in the standoff are aggravated battery, aggravated unlawful use of a weapon, possession of a weapon by a felon and misdemeanor battery. He faces two to five for the felony battery, and one to three and two to 10 years, respectively, for the weapons charges.

Hicks met the terms for release under the Pretrial Fairness Act, and so was freed later Monday.

Among many other things, the act, which took effect Sept. 18, eliminates cash bail. That means everyone is eligible for pretrial release, and the prosecution must show why a defendant should be detained, based on the crime, and whether the defendant is a threat to the community or a flight risk.

According to a news release from Sheriff John Booker, issued at the time of the standoff:

Deputies responded around 6 a.m. to a call reporting a man armed with a handgun in an upstairs bedroom at a home on Walnut Street; he earlier was involved in a domestic dispute inside city limits. The man was identified as Hicks.

While negotiating with Hicks, an adult and a small child were removed from the home. Police entered, secured the first floor and a negotiator continued to talk with Hicks.

After several hours, he and a woman surrendered.

A search of the home turned up a semi-automatic handgun, the release said.

Two months earlier, on Oct. 27, 2021, Hicks was convicted in Whiteside County Court of aggravated battery in a public place, a motel, and was given two and a half years of conditional discharge. One count of misdemeanor battery was dismissed.

A petition to revoke his sentence was filed, and he pleaded not guilty on Dec. 14, 2022..

He has a Dec. 13 pretrial hearing in all four cases.

Hicks has two other felony convictions in Whiteside County:

On Jan 2, 2020, he was convicted of aggravated battery in a public place and sentenced to three years.

Investigators said he bludgeoned a man in the head and stole his cellphone.

One count of aggravated robbery using or indicating a weapon and one count of being a felon in possession of a weapon were dismissed per a plea agreement.

On June 28, 2018, he was sentenced to four years’ probation for possession of a stolen firearm and being a felon in possession; two counts of aggravated unlawful use of a weapon, carrying a firearm in a bar and sale or use of a blackjack near a protected area, all felonies, were dismissed.

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Kathleen Schultz

Kathleen A. Schultz

Kathleen Schultz is a Sterling native with 40 years of reporting and editing experience in Arizona, California, Montana and Illinois.