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Hicks Pleads Guilty In Rodney Allender Murder
Updated December 1, 2015 7:17 AM | Filed under: Crime
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(BEDFORD) - Dillon Hicks pleaded guilty Monday to the beating death of 43-year-old Rodney Allender.

Allender was beaten to death at his Heltonville home in the 1700 block of Dutch Ridge Road in February 2014.

Under the terms of the plea agreement, 18-year-old Hicks will be sentenced to 55 years on the murder count and 10 years on the conspiracy to commit burglary count, with the sentences to run consecutively for a total of 65 years. 60 years will be executed at the Indiana Department of Corrections with five years suspended to supervised probation. Hicks, upon release from the DOC, would be required to register for life as a violent offender.

Lawrence Superior Court II Judge William Sleva says in exchange for the plea, the prosecution will dismiss a third count, robbery resulting in serious bodily injury, a Class A felony.

Hicks will be sentenced at 10 a.m. on December 28.

Hicks is the last of three teens charged in Allender's death. Austin Curtis and Taylor Flynn, also pleaded guilty to the crime.

Flynn admitted that days leading up to Allender's murder he and co-defendant Hicks had staked out Allender's home at 1758 Dutch Ridge Road in Heltonville on several occasions. The teens believed Allender had a large amount of money in safes inside the home and guns that they planned to steal.

Then on February 27, 2014 Flynn dressed up like a girl and armed himself with a rifle and knocked on Allender's door. When Allender opened the door, Flynn shot Allender in the leg.

That is when co-defendant 19-year-old Austin Curtis struck Allender in the head with a baseball bat.

Both Curtis and Flynn told the judge there was a struggle and Allender was hit in the head and face.

Curtis testified during his sentencing that he struck Allender once in the legs and once in the head. Hicks, armed with an air-rifle, also hit Allender during the struggle and Flynn hit Allender in the head with the rifle butt.

According to an autopsy report, Allender died from a closed head injury and blunt force injuries.

But before Allender died, the men tied him up with duct tape and repeatedly hit and used a stun gun on him until he gave them the combinations to his safe. They then ransacked the home, stealing money and guns.

Allender's body was found in his garage by his son and his son's girlfriend. He was lying on his side with a severe head injury and was pronounced dead at the scene.

Officers found Allender's home in disarray with furniture overturned, a door ripped off the hinges, a desk emptied and papers thrown around and two safes open and emptied. Police noted there was blood throughout the home.

Curtis was arrested on March 1, 2014 after being questioned by police and admitting his part of the crime. Flynn and Hicks had fled to Ironton, Ohio and were arrested the same day. They were extradited back to Lawrence County.

Curtis was sentenced in September 2014 to 55 years with the Department of Correction, with 10 of those years suspended. Of the 10 suspended years, five will be served on supervised probation and five will be unsupervised.

Flynn was sentenced in April to 65 years with the DOC, with seven years suspended. Flynn will be on electronic monitoring for three years, followed by supervised probation for four years.

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