Gainesville man sentenced for 2019 homicide at Waffle House on Newberry Road

Press release from the Office of State Attorney Brian Kramer

GAINESVILLE, Fla. – On Thursday, December 15, 2022, Assistant State Attorney Brian Rodgers led the prosecution team in State vs. Ezekiel Luke Hicks.

On April 7, 2019, the Alachua County Sheriff’s Office responded to Waffle House on Newberry Road following reports of shots fired. Alachua County Sheriff’s Office Detectives identified and arrested Ezekiel Hicks, dob 10/27/93, for the unlawful killing of Craig Brewer. Hicks was arrested at his Gainesville residence. Alachua County Sheriff’s Detectives used video evidence along with eyewitness testimony that was successful in this case. Sentencing lasted two days, which allowed both victim impact statements and defense witnesses to address the Court.

The Honorable Judge Phil Pena presided over the judicial proceeding. Hicks entered into a negotiated plea with the State Attorney’s Office and pled open to the court. Hicks was sentenced to 20 years for manslaughter and 5 years for carrying a concealed weapon.

    • He’s not getting sick. To bad he didn’t die sooner he was a woman beater and a bully! Maybe your mother is getting sick!

  • The victim was generously paying for some of the other customers’ food, and this guy got bent out of shape because he didn’t get a free meal or his woman didn’t get a free meal. Why accept a plea deal? Go for murder two and more years in prison since there were witnesses and other evidence. It was a horrendous crime. Calling it manslaughter is pathetic.

  • Premeditated murder normally carries a life or death sentence mandatory. This kid only got got 20 years and a downgraded charge because the court knows that he was not a bad guy. Kid just made a bad choice. Mr Ezekiel had No criminal record prior to this incident. The victim in the case had an extensive criminal record prior to his death. This shows the ignorance of Mr Peabody and Mr Dominguez based on your comments.

    • The hell with that. The guy deserved life. I could less about the victim’s backgrounds. Not only did he kill someone but he put a lot of other people in danger.

      Ezekiel pulled the trigger. He owns what happened.

    • By the way, “murder two” (second-degree murder) means murder committed as a crime of passion, without too much planning. He got upset because he didn’t get some free food and he killed somebody. That would be the appropriate charge. It’s not like he went to the Waffle House looking to kill the victim. Manslaughter is usually more of an accidental death due to gross negligence. Twenty years is possibly longer than he might have received for second-degree murder as a first offender (if that is even true), although the judge probably took the “shooting up a restaurant with other people inside” aspect of the crime into account. Judges have to sign off on plea agreements, of course.

    • Mike R., your statement is so ridiculous. The victims extensive record has no bearing as to whether he deserved to be murdered or not! He was doing good deeds for people. That was his right! Hicks is nothing more than a thug that got what he deserved. He committed murder.

      • There Failing To Mention The Victim Open Handedly Slapped Zezke Twice .No Being Publicly Humiliated Doesn’t Excuse Murder . But Remember Before You Write Slanderous Things About My Classmate Whom Probably Is A Stranger To 95% Of You … Just Like With Suicide You Never Know What A Person Is Going Through Already. Some Of The Most Secretly Miserable People Club And Go To Local Restaurants Here In Gainesville Usually Causing Them To Close Early. I Know/Knew Both Of Them They Both Were Good People. Doesn’t Take Much To Get Someones Timing Wrong .

    • Well, given the fact he’s shaped like a baked potato; he’ll eventually get beaten to death.

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