DCS Files Show Case Closed Three Months Before Child’s Murder

(Memphis) Sabrina and Gary Hickerson are set to stand trial next month for the 2011 death of their 21-month-old son Adrien Hickerson.

WREG has also discovered workers from the Tennessee Department of Children’s Services were involved in the child’s life just before he died.

Adrien Hickerson’s file is Case #111, in the third batch of records DCS turned over to WREG through court order.

We were hoping to learn more about what happened leading up to his death, but heavily redacted pages and missing details raise even more questions.

DCS and police records show Adrien’s mom admitted to punishing the toddler for feeding the dog table food.

She forced Adrien to repeatedly lie down and get back up. She told police it was called “smoking.”

It was June, but no air was on in the house during Adrien’s punishment.  He eventually started convulsing and collapsed.

The autopsy reveals Adrien had brain contusions and hemorrhaging. He died from blunt trauma to the head.

Sabrina told investigators she had “uncontrollable rage” and may have harmed him.

According to his affidavit, Gary admitted he knew about his wife’s abusive behavior, but did nothing to stop it.

He may not have been the only one.

DCS opened an assessment case on the family in November of 2010 for lack of supervision, as well as nutritional and environmental neglect. They closed it just three months before Adrien died.

The file shows services were recommended and accepted, but formal services were not provided.

The family did get informal services, but it’s unclear what they were because DCS redacted the information.

Workers also redacted Hickerson’s date of death and some basic, medical information.

WREG asked a DCS spokesperson about the redactions, he said, “The litigation has determined what we can and cannot release.”

We’re still waiting to get more details on why information was redacted inconsistently, as well as additional information on the Hickersons’ assessment case. No additional forms related to the November 2010 case were included in the file.

Chancellor Carol McCoy has asked DCS to review the files released in the second and third set for over redactions.

During a recent hearing, she threatened to jail any DCS employee who violated her order by blacking out too much information.

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