EDWARDSVILLE, IL (KPLR) - The suspect in the North Carolina killings used to live in Metro East. 46-year-old Craig Stephen Hicks got divorced at the Madison County Courthouse in 2004 in Edwardsville. His wife was given custody of their child. He lived for several years about 30 miles northeast of Edwardsville in Sorento, Illinois.
Dennis Cruthis lives in Sorento. Cruthis said, "It's completely shocking to me. I would never expect something like that out of him." Cruthis sold Craig Hicks a home in Sorento back in the late nineties.
He estimated Hicks lived in the community of 600 people for about 9, years. Even though Cruthis owned the local grocery store, that has since closed, he didn't see much of Hicks around town. Cruthis said, "He kept to himself a lot I ran a store in Sorento for years and years and he never stepped foot in my store."
Cruthis didn't know Hicks well but said Hicks never appeared angry or demonstrated any racial hatred. He was stunned that the man who bought his house is now accused of gunning down three Muslim students in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. Cruthis added, "I didn't expect nothing like that from him. Like I said he was quiet and kept to himself all the time."
When Hicks got divorced he didn't hire an attorney, he represented himself in the courtroom.