Plainfield man sentenced to 20 years for aggravated manslaughter

A Plainfield man has been sentenced to 20 years in state prison for being responsible for the shooting death of a 21-year-old in 2013, acting Union County Prosecutor Grace H. Park announced Friday.

Lavarr Nowell, 25, must serve at least 85 percent of that sentence before the possibility of parole under the terms set down Friday by state Superior Court Judge Stuart Peim, who labeled the death of Dawud Hicks an “ambush and execution.”

On Tuesday, December 3, 2013, Plainfield Police Division patrol units responding to reports of shots being fired in the area of 300 block of Manson Place found Hicks suffering from multiple gunshot wounds, according to Union County Assistant Prosecutor Colleen Ruppert, who prosecuted the case. He was pronounced dead a short time later at a local hospital, Ruppert said.

An intensive joint investigation by the Plainfield Police Division and the Union County Prosecutor’s Office’s Homicide Task Force resulted in Nowell being identified as a suspect, and he was charged in early February 2014. Bail was set at $1 million, and he was indicted in 2015.

Nowell’s April 2017 trial resulted in a hung jury on the charge of murder and a conviction on a second-degree weapons offense. A month later, Nowell pleaded guilty to a count of first-degree aggravated manslaughter.