Rock Falls man facing 15 felony counts hit with 7 more

Ryan D. Hicks in November 2023

MORRISON – A Rock Falls man with eight pending felony cases filed from 2018 to 2021 in Whiteside County Court recently was charged in a ninth case.

Ryan D. Hicks, a convicted felon in two counties, faces 15 previous felony counts: nine accused of writing bad checks, two accused of theft, and one charge each of burglary, financial exploitation of an elderly person, unlawful possession of a credit card and possession of methamphetamine, in addition to several related misdemeanors.

The ninth case, charging him with two counts of burglary, two of theft (one worth more than $500 but less than $10,000 and one worth less than $500) and three counts of possession of a stolen credit card was filed Nov. 6, also in Whiteside County Court.

All counts are said to have taken place on or about Oct. 11.

That’s after a ruling April 28 that found him fit to stand trial in the previous cases.

A petition to revoke his pretrial release also was filed Nov. 6 in all eight cases.

Hicks was freed May 26, after posting $1,000 of his $10,000 bond in what was at that point his most recent case, filed Oct. 19, 2021, in which he was charged with burglary and two counts of felony theft.

That was before the Pretrial Fairness Act took effect Sept. 18, eliminating cash bail.

According to the latest charging document, Hicks, who turns 36 on Saturday, also is accused of entering K’s Korners at 13030 Galt Road in Sterling and the Casey’s at 1604 First Ave. in Rock Falls with intent to steal; stealing two debit cards from the Prophetstown Fire Protection District and using them to obtain items; and possession of not only those two government agency cards but also of that of a person who had lost or mislaid their debit card.

The burglary charges and the greater theft are punishable by three to seven years in prison, the other four by one to three years.

As of Thursday, an initial hearing had yet to be set.

As for the previous cases, a pretrial conference and plea hearing is scheduled for Nov. 22 in all eight. The highest penalty Hicks faces is three to eight years; most counts carry one to four years.

It remains to be seen if the new case will affect whether Hicks enters a plea on that day.

According to Whiteside and Lee County court records:

After being terminated from the Whiteside County Drug Court program, Hicks was sentenced June 7, 2016, to five years in prison for theft worth less than $300 with a previous conviction. A second count was dismissed per a plea agreement. On May 2, 2017, after a motion to withdraw his plea and vacate the sentence, it was reduced to four years, six months.

On Jan 25, 2012, he was sentenced to a 1 1/2 years of probation for possession of a controlled substance and to a year’s probation in another case for aggravated fleeing. His probation was revoked in the drug case and he was sentenced to two years in prison on March 25, 2014.

On Nov. 13, 2019, Hicks was sentenced to three years in prison in Lee County for possession of a controlled substance. One count of manufacturing less than 15 grams of heroin was dismissed.

On April 3, 2014, he was convicted of destroying evidence and sentenced to two years, to be served concurrently with the Whiteside County drug case.

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.