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A Blog by Tony Hicks

Meet Tony

In 1990, Tony Hicks came to live with his grandfather after a young life overexposed to violence, gangs, abuse, rejection, and rage. Ples was a role model, boundary, and passionate grandfather to Tony but the teenage years were difficult.  One afternoon in January 1995 Tony ran away from home to be with the wrong crowd. That night, after a day of drinking and drugs, Tony became part of a pizza delivery robbery. He was given a loaded handgun and told to shoot the driver who had refused to give up the pizzas.

Tony murdered twenty-year- old Tariq Khamisa, an innocent young man working his way through college.  At the age of fourteen, Tony became the youngest juvenile in California to be charged and convicted as an adult.  He was sentenced to 25 years to life in prison.  Tony’s first parole hearing is scheduled for 2018.

Questions From Students

Are you okay?

I am well. I still struggle with what I’ve done to hurt the Khamisa family as well as the community as a whole when I murdered Tariq. I will always carry the shame of my actions with me as a reminder of the person I was and the destructive impact I had on so many people lives.

This has been a long journey for me, one I may not have been able to make without the love and support of my grandfather Ples Felix, the encouragement and reassurance of Azim and Tasreen Khamisa as well as other members of the TKF family. I am grateful to all of them for not giving up on hope for me even in those moments when I lacked hope for myself.

Today, as a 37 year old man, I am in a better place mentally and emotionally then I’ve ever been in my life. I’ve in time, been able to identify and address the emotional issues that I carried with me the night I murdered Tariq and through the early years of my incarceration. I can now speak honestly about my past and the person I was without trying to run from the painful reality of what I’ve done. Honesty was something that, I know now, I lacked when it came to myself as well as the courage to wield it. It was also the first step in the journey from who I was to the person I am today. I’m grateful to have been given this opportunity for change. I am mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually well but the shame that I bear for Tariq’s murder will always be there because I took from him the same opportunity for change and growth that I’ve been afforded. Thank you.