General Crime

* Matthew Hicks Jr. pleaded guilty assault and battery of a Vallejo public works employee

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A teen charged as an adult for the felony robbery, assault and battery of a Vallejo public works employee in February pleaded guilty to battery this afternoon, a day before his trial on the three felony counts.Matthew Hicks Jr., 17, of Vallejo, pleaded guilty in Solano County Superior Court to battery resulting in grievous injury, his attorney, Eric Safire, said this afternoon. The other two charges will be dismissed as part of the plea agreement.Hicks will be sentenced Aug. 4 to five years’ probation and a year in the Solano County jail, but he will get credit for time he has already served, Safire said.”This is a non-strike resolution. I anticipate his release on Aug. 4,” Safire said.The felony assault and the battery charges would have counted against Hicks as a strike, Safire said, but the battery charge to which Hicks pleaded guilty will no longer count as a strike.Hicks’ five-year probation term can also be reduced if he meets certain conditions, including getting a high school diploma, Safire said. Hicks was charged in connection with the assault of Harold Cabral on Feb. 1.Cabral, 47, of Suisun City, was driving a backhoe on Broadway Street when someone threw an object at his vehicle, Vallejo police said. He turned the backhoe around, and when he got out of the vehicle, he was attacked by several juveniles and knocked to the ground, where he was swarmed by more than 40 people, according to Vallejo police. Police said Cabral suffered a fractured jaw, collarbone and skull, and broken teeth. The event was captured on a video camera at a nearby market and by a witness at the scene.The assault was the first of a series of violent crimes in Vallejo in February, including the shooting death of Hicks’ father, 42-year-old Matthew Hicks Sr., on Feb. 8. Hicks Sr.’s murder and the assault on the city employee were unrelated, police said.Hicks was held over for trial after a preliminary hearing. A 15-year-old boy also was arrested in connection with the assault and was prosecuted as a juvenile.In February, Safire said Hicks admitted to his involvement and wrote a letter of apology to the victim. He said Hicks was responding to the victim attacking his friend, and an independent witness, a reverend, confirmed the victim attacked the 15-year-old boy.

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