Involved in Stoddard County plot to kill pastor's wife Brandy Hicks gets 7 years for burglary

Friday, July 1, 2016

By MICHELLE FRIEDRICH

Associate Editor

BLOOMFIELD, Mo. -- A Dexter, Mo., woman was sentenced to prison Wednesday after she pleaded guilty to burglarizing the Bloomfield home of her pastor as part of what was an alleged plot to kill the man's wife in a fire.

Brandy Hicks, 35, pleaded guilty as charged to the Class C felony of second-degree burglary before Presiding Circuit Judge Robert Mayer, according to Stoddard County Prosecuting Attorney Russ Oliver.

"She pled to the burglary like the agreement disclosed in the trials" of both Donald Lafferty of Quechee, Vt., and her husband, Christopher Hicks of Dexter, Oliver said.

With her plea, Brandy Hicks admitted that on Jan. 13, 2013, she unlawfully entered a home, owned by Mildred Lafferty, in the 20900 block of State Highway AB at Bloomfield for the purpose of committing the crime of stealing.

Hicks reportedly broke into the home to steal a bottle of cough syrup on the day after she and her husband allegedly set it on fire with Mildred Lafferty inside.

"It was one of those deals where Brandy had done everything we asked of her and cooperated fully with our case," Oliver explained. "The state had to hold up our end of the bargain."

Oliver said Mayer sentenced Brandy Hicks to the "agreed upon" sentence of seven years in the Missouri Department of Corrections.

With Brandy Hicks' plea, Oliver said, the state dismissed the remaining felonies of attempted murder, first-degree arson and armed criminal action (ACA) Brandy Hicks was charged with.

"If Donald Lafferty's case is reversed on appeal and tried again, obviously, she will participate in the trial," Oliver said. "If she doesn't, the three counts can be refiled."

Lafferty, 71, was found guilty in January of the felonies of attempted murder, arson, ACA and financial exploitation of an elderly person.

The Stoddard County jury convicted Lafferty of hiring the Hickses to burn his home near Bloomfield and kill his wife in January 2013. The Hickses were to receive $15,000 and another $5,000 if his wife died in the fire.

The exploitation charge involving Lafferty's mother, Goldie Lafferty, was a separate incident. He was accused of defrauding his mother by taking all the money from a certificate of deposit and using it for personal bills.

Lafferty was ordered to serve 15 years in prison on the attempted murder and arson charges, with those sentences to be served consecutively to each other, and to a 20-year sentence on the exploitation charge.

A 10-year sentence on the ACA was ordered to be served concurrently with Lafferty's other sentences.

Lafferty, whose appeal is ongoing, also was ordered to make restitution in the amount of $85,829.17 to his late mother's estate.

Christopher Hicks was tried earlier this month in Stoddard County on the felonies of attempted murder, arson, ACA and second-degree burglary.

After hearing three days of testimony and deliberating for about four hours, the jury acquitted Christopher Hicks on all of the charges.

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