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The Times' criminal justice team looks behind the scenes and behind the headlines.

December 28, 2009 at 12:28 PM

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Man suspected of killing girlfriend, infant daughter arrested

Posted by John de Leon

Daniel Thomas Hicks, suspected of killing his girlfriend and their 13-week-old daughter last week, was arrested today in Northern California, according to a law enforcement source.

Hicks was arrested in the seaside town of Santa Cruz after police traced a call he had made today to a relative, the source said. The relative has been cooperating with police, the source said.

Hicks, 29, has been the subject of a police manhunt since Tuesday morning, when Jennifer Morgan's body was discovered in the renovated basement of the Beacon Hill home where the couple and their young daughter lived, according to charging documents. Hicks is accused of killing Morgan and 13-week-old Ema Morgan sometime after noon Monday, according to charging papers.

Hicks has been charged with two counts of aggravated first-degree murder. The only penalties for aggravated first-degree murder are life in prison or death, according to a news release issued by King County Prosecutor Dan Satterberg.

Satterberg has 30 days after Hicks' arraignment to decide whether to seek the death penalty.

Hicks allegedly shot Jennifer Morgan at least 12 times and his daughter at least seven with a .45-caliber handgun, according to charging documents.

On Wednesday, Hicks made a collect phone call to his father from San Jose, Calif., charging papers say. His father, who didn't speak with Hicks, called Seattle homicide detectives.

Additional details of the arrest weren't immediately available. We'll post updates on as soon as we get more information.

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