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A Newton man sentenced to life in prison for raping a young woman more than 20 years ago will be released in 2014, the state Parole Commission announced this week.
Wilford Russell Hicks was convicted of two counts of first-degree rape on June 7, 1990, and was sentenced to life in prison.
According to detectives at the time of his arrest, Hicks and Samuel David Ramseur, both of the same address on East 2nd Street in Newton, raped a 26-year-old white woman on Feb. 27, 1990 on a dirt road off N.C. 10.
Detectives said the incident was â€śa pure case of first degree rape,â€ť adding that â€śit was not your boyfriend-girlfriend type of thing.â€ť
The victim did not know either man, according to the detectives.
Now, the Parole Commission says Hicks will be paroled as part of the stateâ€™s Mutual Agreement Parole Program (MAPP). The program, which is rooted in scholastic and vocational activities, is a three-way agreement between the Commission, the N.C. Division of Prisons and the offender, said Keith Acree, representative for the N.C. Post Release Supervision and Parole Commission.
â€śItâ€™s typically the way the Parole Commission paroles inmates convicted before 1994,â€ť Acree said. â€śIt establishes a regiment of requirements the inmate has to meet over a period of time."
According to the program, MAPP participation is available to inmates who are within three years of parole and meet the following criteria:
â€˘ Must be in medium or minimum custody.
â€˘ Not be subject to a detainer or pending court action which could result in further confinement.
â€˘ Be infraction-free for a period of 90 days prior to being recommended.
â€˘ If sentenced under the Fair Sentencing Act, is otherwise eligible for 270-day parole or community service parole.
There is no parole for offenders who committed crimes after Oct. 1, 1994, which is when inmates began being sentenced under Structured Sentencing laws, Acree said.
Hicks is scheduled to be released on parole Nov. 1, 2014. Acree said if there are people in the community who support or oppose the parole, they can call the Parole Commission at 919-716-3010.
Ramseur, who was also convicted of first-degree rape on June 7, 1990, was sentenced to life in prison. According to jail and obituary records, he served 10 years in prison before dying June 7, 2000, exactly 10 years after being convicted.