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Mississippi Man Who Admitted Sexually Assaulting and Murdering Toddler, 2, Gets Decades in Prison After Plea Deal with Feds

Brett Hickman

Brett Hickman (above in a mugshot from Madison County Jail) was sentenced to 450 months in prison.

A Mississippi man whose admitted physical and sexual abuse of a toddler resulted in the child’s death was sentenced on Tuesday, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.

Brett K. Hickman, 28, received a sentence of 450 months in prison — or 37 and a half years — according to federal court records filed in the Southern District of Mississippi. That sentence comes after the defendant pleaded guilty to federal charges of second-degree murder and aggravated sexual abuse of a child as part of a deal with prosecutors back in July.

Hickman was arrested in June 2019 after the death of a 2-year-old child that was living in his home at the Tucker Community of the Choctaw Indian Reservation, the DOJ has said.  The Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Choctaw Police Department both investigated the case, according to court records, and then presented evidence to the grand jury.  A federal grand jury initially indicted Hickman on one count of first-degree murder and one count of sexual abuse of a child the following month.

Hickman sentencing

Prior to his plea, Hickman would have had no chance of ever being a free man again if found guilty (sentencing guidelines above from federal court files).

The investigation continued, however, and in March 2021 a superseding indictment was filed in the case.

The details of the case had remained under seal up until that point, but that two-page indictment provided the first glimpse into the allegations.

Hickman “willfully, deliberately, maliciously, and with premeditation and malice afterthought did unlawfully killed K. F., A minor Choctaw Indian female, by striking her in the abdomen and slamming her head against the floor,” said count one of the indictment. The second count related to the sexual assault of K.F. “with an intent to abuse, humiliate, harass, degrade, or arouse or gratify the sexual desire of any person,” according to court papers. And the third count, not included in the initial indictment, detailed the sexual assault of a second minor female under the age of 12.

The sentencing guidelines for the first count called for life in prison; counts two and three each carried a minimum sentence of 30 years behind bars.

Hickman’s plea deal requires the defendant to plead guilty to one of the sexual assault charges as well as the murder charge. Prosecutors agreed, however, to lower the charge from first-degree murder to second-degree murder, which meant that Hickman might not spend the rest of his life in prison.

Hickman had been incarcerated at the Madison County Detention Center but will now be transferred to a federal facility to serve out his sentence.

The defendant’s superseding indictment and plea agreement are below:

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