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Defense attorney admits to DWI, handgun offenses


A local public defense attorney pleaded guilty to two misdemeanor charges Friday, both of which stemmed from a September encounter with a former client at a bar.

Mitchell W. Hicks, 55, admitted in Allen Superior Court to operating a vehicle while intoxicated and to carrying a handgun without a license. He did so without the benefit of a plea agreement.

Hicks, of the 400 block of Union Station Drive, was arrested in early September outside the Hitch-in-Post bar.

Fort Wayne police officers were called in reference to a man with a weapon. The man who made the call was a former client of Hicks who had previously filed an official complaint against the attorney.

Officers found Hicks behind the wheel of his car outside the tavern.

When they spoke with him, he admitted to drinking for several hours and that he had a handgun for which he did not have a license or permit to carry.

Hicks also told officers he did not point his gun at the man who called police or at anyone else, according to court documents.

After a blood-alcohol test, the results of which were not released, the officers arrested Hicks on the drunken-driving charge, according to court records.

Hicks had previously been convicted of operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated in Whitley County in 2004, according to court documents.

Friday, Hicks’ two sisters spoke on his behalf.

Vonnie Falls said she called her brother every night while he was in rehab, which he entered after his arrest. She said Hicks “learned a lot” from the experience.

“I believe he means what he says in taking responsibility for his actions,” Falls said.

Ronda Walters said she drove her brother to rehab in Tennessee and that afterward, she spent the holidays with her brother for the first time since high school.

She said the experience was “eye-opening” for Hicks.

“He wouldn’t have done those things sober,” Walters said. “He’s the most non-confrontational person I know.”

During Friday’s hearing, Hicks’ lawyer told Allen Superior Court Judge Fran Gull he is awaiting progress reports on Hicks’ ongoing treatment.

After hearing the testimony, Gull set Hicks’ sentencing date for September.