Plainfield man indicted for Dawud Hicks’ homicide

UNION COUNTY — A grand jury has returned an indictment against a Plainfield man charged with being responsible for a fatal shooting that took place last year, according to Prosecutor Grace H. Park.

Lavarr Nowell, 22, was indicted on charges including first-degree murder, second-degree unlawful possession of a weapon, and third-degree possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose in connection with the death of 21-year-old Dawud Hicks.

Hicks, 21, was a two-time state wrestling place-winner while at Plainfield High, and whose run to the finals of the prestigious Beast of the East tournament in Delaware his senior year drew wide attention.

The date was December 3, 2013 when police responding to reports of shots being fired in the 300 block of Manson Place in Plainfield found Hicks suffering from multiple gunshot wounds. He was pronounced dead a short time later at a local hospital.

An intensive joint investigation by the Plainfield Police Division and the Union County Prosecutor’s Office Homicide Task Force developed Nowell as a suspect, and he was charged in early February. Bail was set at $1 million.

A second suspect in the case remains at large. Anyone with additional information about the death of Mr. Hicks is being urged to contact Union County Prosecutor’s Office Detective Sofia Santos at 908-325-3324.

A reward of up to $5,000 for information leading to an arrest and indictment is being offered by the Union County Crime Stoppers; tips can be given anonymously by phone at 908-654-TIPS (8477), via text message by texting “UCTIP” and a message to 274637 (CRIMES), or online at

These criminal charges are mere accusations. Each defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

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