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Accused Sams Valley slayer denied bail

A Sams Valley man was arraigned on murder and other charges for allegedly slaying his estranged wife Saturday and burning her body in a fire he ignited at his home.

Kevin Dean Hicks, 52, made his initial appearance Monday in Jackson County Circuit Court on charges of murder, first-degree arson and abuse of a corpse in the killing of Tammy Raye Hicks.

During the brief hearing in which Hicks appeared from the Jackson County Jail via closed-circuit television, Hicks answered “obviously, yes sir” when Circuit Judge Lorenzo Mejia informed him that he would remain in custody without bail.

The case was assigned to Circuit Judge Lisa Greif and Mejia ordered Hicks back in court July 10.

No new details of the case were discussed in court Monday.

Tammy Raye Hicks’ body was discovered in the burning residence on the 3100 block of McMartin Lane Saturday afternoon.

A neighbor told the Mail Tribune that she heard “loud popping noises” and screaming when she reported the fire to authorities.

Hicks was arrested at the scene, which police said was his residence.

Jackson County sheriff’s deputies and court records show the couple had separated last October following a domestic-violence incident witnesses by their four minor children. Kevin Hicks was sentenced to probation in April following a misdemeanor assault case of domestic violence for slapping Tammy Hicks at her Table Rock Road residence.

No children were present at the burning residence Saturday afternoon, police said.

Reach Mail Tribune reporter Mark Freeman at 541-776-4470 or mfreeman@rosebudmedia.com. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/MTwriterFreeman.

Kevin Dean Hicks, Sr.