Reaction to suspect arrested in KC Johnson murder

NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — William Hicks is charged with first degree murder, robbery with a dangerous weapon, and kidnapping in the death of KC Johnson.

Hicks has a number of convictions in South Carolina, dating back to 2018 including assault and battery, and burglary.

Wilmington police are still investigating whether a body found in Savannah, Georgia is KC Johnson’s.

Law enforcement arrested Hicks in Myrtle Beach on a fugitive warrant. That’s where he will remain until he is extradited to Wilmington.

In court this morning, hicks began to fight extradition, but changed his mind.

Meanwhile friends and those in the LGBTQ community are mourning her loss. Bulla Brodzinski, KC’s partner, says she hopes to see justice served for KC.

Bulla Brodzinski said she and KC Johnson are both transgender women, and connected through their shared experiences.

They live together, and on Friday, the day Johnson went missing, Brodzinski says Johnson told her she was going to meet a friend and would return soon.

Wilmington police determined Johnson was killed on King St in Wilmington, the day she left her home.

“I just wish I could have stopped her from going out that door that day. If I could go back in time and stop that from happening, I would.”

Police say the murder suspect, William Hicks, met Johnson on social media.

“I really hope gets the maximum punishment possible, I hope he never sees the light of the day again for what he’s done, it isn’t right.”

As of right now, there’s no word on how Johnson died, or whether there is a motive behind her murder.

Caroline Morin, Executive Director of the LGBTQ Center of the Cape Fear Coast says statistics show there are high murder rates for transgender people.
The number of homicides of transgender people nearly doubled between 2017 and 2021, according to a report released in October.   It also stated transgender people are 2.5 times as likely to be victims of violence as cisgender people.

“I think anytime we have someone from within the community, –the LGBTQ community as a whole, but especially the trans and non-binary community, when they’re murdered it’s an immediate message to us that something is happening, that we’re already familiar with,” said Caroline Morin, LGBTQ Center of the Cape Fear Coast executive director. “So, a big thing that kind of comes for us next is what’s going to happen as our community going to respond appropriately. Will some sense of justice happen in this instance, and then what do we do to keep moving forward for those of us who are left behind?”

WWAY spoke with KC’s mother on the phone, who said although the family is not prepared to speak, they are also hoping for justice to be found for KC. The family has created a GoFundMe for funeral expenses, and the LGBTQ Center of the Cape Fear Coast is planning to hold a vigil for KC on Friday, January 19, at 5:30 p.m. in front of the Wilmington City Hall at 102 North 3rd Street.

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