A Largo man accepted a plea deal today that will send him to prison for eight years for fatally shooting a man during a drunken fight two years ago.
Jimmie Hickman, 34, pleaded guilty to manslaughter, sparing himself a possible 30-year prison sentence had he been convicted as charged.
Hickman and Olester Clemons got into a drunken fist fight on the morning of May 28, 2011.
Then Clemons picked up a small steak knife. Hickman wrested it from him, and the pair continued fighting until they were out of breath, prosecutors say.
Eventually, Hickman had had enough. He went to the living room of his Largo home and picked up an AK-47 rifle. He told Clemons and a woman who had been drinking with them, Ericka Satchell, they had 10 seconds to get out of his house.
Clemons, 30, didn’t make it. Hickman fired once, and the bullet, after piercing a wall, caught Clemons in his femoral artery, eventually killing him, before passing through his body and glancing Satchell’s thigh.
Hickman, now 34, was arrested soon after, and he was crying when his mug shot was taken at the Pinellas County Jail. He was also crying today as he wavered over the plea deal he wound up taking.
The State Attorney’s Office checked with Clemons’ family members, who were OK with the deal, Assistant State Attorney Jason Thomas said. Clemons’ family was never out for revenge, he said. They just wanted Hickman to acknowledge what he had done and be sentenced.
One reason Hickman wavered was because he wanted a few more days of freedom before he was incarcerated. He had been free on $40,000 bail since a few months after the shooting. Prosecutors balked at the request, saying the eight-year offer was good today only.
There’s some dispute over what exactly Clemons and Hickman were fighting about. Satchell, then 20, who was Clemons’ god sister, said Hickman was making unwanted advances toward her, and Clemons was defending her honor. But Hickman told authorities he believed the two were in an incestuous relationship, and he wanted them out of his house, Thomas said.