Man found guilty of murdering woman in St. Petersburg

Published February 7 2014
Updated February 7 2014

Pinellas County

Man found guilty in 2013 drug-deal murder

A St. Petersburg man was sentenced to life in prison Thursday after a jury found him guilty of killing a woman during a drug deal last year.

Morris V. Hires, 19, was found guilty of second-degree murder after a three-day trial.

Hires shot and killed Felicia Celeste Vickers, 21, on March 15. Vickers, who had recently moved to St. Petersburg from her native Tennessee, was in a group of people who drove to Hires' house to buy drugs, authorities said. When they got there, one of the people in the car argued with Hires.

He then pulled a gun and fired into the car. A bullet hit Vickers.

The group drove to Bayfront Medical Center, where they dropped off Vickers and sped away, police said. She was taken into the hospital, but died later that day. Detectives later zeroed in on Hires as a suspect.

Police said Hires left the area for some time, but returned a few weeks later. Officers arrested him at this home, 535 26th Ave. S, after a police dog found him hiding in a crib.