Murder suspect's mother says her son deserves to be punished - FOX 32 News Chicago

Murder suspect's mother says her son deserves to be punished

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A photo of Antonio Hicks. A photo of Antonio Hicks.
A photo of Clyburn and Pace. A photo of Clyburn and Pace.
(WJBK) - Nicolina Pace says her fiance, Johnny Clyburn, first tried to help her son get into the military. Then he tried to get her son into school but they couldn't get him motivated. Then, her son was told he couldn't stay at their home any longer.

What happened next has left Pace devastated, and what she has to say may be a little shocking.

Pace feels as though she's lost everything. Her world fell apart last week when she says her 19-year-old son, Antonio Hicks, shot her and killed her fiance, Johnny Clyburn, a man she loved and adored.

"I just wanted everyone to know what a good man Johnny Clyburn was and how he did not deserve what happened to him," she says.

Clyburn, an Air Force sergeant with 20 years in the military, was trying to help Pace's troubled son.

"He was a wonderful man; he was a wonderful father," Pace says. "My mother passed away nine months ago. She adored him. She was so happy that we were getting married."

So much in love, the soon-to-be married couple had an engagement party coming up but Pace says she believes her son Antonio was jealous and hurt the man who tried to help him, shooting Clyburn to death after an argument.

"I want the world to know he did and tried everything he could to help my son. What my son did was a very, very cowardly act. I don't want anyone feeling sorry for him," Pace says. "When he was shooting, every time I tried to get in the way he knew who his target was - so he knew exactly what he was doing."

Pace says her son may have shot her in the leg accidentally but killed Clyburn to hurt her, to separate his mother from hersoul matee.

"I just want Antonio to know [he] did not break me and John's love apart. He is my soul mate. I will see him again. What you did was a very, very cowardly act. No son of mine would have ever done anything like that," Pace says.

Pace says God left her here for her younger son but has no sympathy for her older child - only anger.

"He deserves exactly what he did to Johnny. He was smart enough not to turn the gun on himself, and that's what he should have done," she says.

It might seem shocking to hear a mother say that about her own child but Pace says after what he's done he doesn't deserve to live.

"You need to ask God to have mercy on your soul. You deserve everything that comes to you and I wish Michigan did have the death penalty," Pace says.

FOX 2's Amy Lange says Pace says her son was troubled and they tried to get him help but he wouldn't accept it. Pace told Lange he wasn't diagnosed with mental illness and that she doesn't believe if even he had been diagnosed it would be an excuse for his actions.

Hicks has been charged with the murder.


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