Grier Heights residents seek positive change after murder convic - WBTV 3 News, Weather, Sports, and Traffic for Charlotte, NC

Grier Heights residents seek positive change after murder conviction

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CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) -

Edward Hicks was sentenced to life without parole for the 2012 murder of Nikio Cousart, but residents in the Grier Heights neighborhood are hoping to turn that negative into a positive.
 
Basketball offers the neighborhood soundtrack near the corner of Zircon and Alpha Streets, but two years ago residents here were jolted by noise of fatal gun fire.
 
It was another murder in a place that attempting to turn the corner against crime and violence.
Nikio Cousart was shot while sitting inside of a vehicle, and residents who followed the case say call the life sentence of convicted killer Edward Hicks appropriate.
 
Jakieran Harris lives near the crime scene.
 
"He got what he deserved. It's a bad thing to say that, but he did, because Niko's name held weight in this neighborhood."
 
Despite the crime, the Grier Heights community continues to make strides to improve its image.
 
Reverend Donnie Garris is the pastor of the Antioch Baptist Church in Grier Heights, and says acts of violence now have a way of galvanizing the neighborhood.

"Those things cause us to come together and to bond together and say look at what we can do to stop such things from happening," he said.
 
The crime scene was in the middle of a group of rental units known as the Eastover apartments, and new residents say the rules have changed.

David Cripanik moved in three weeks ago. "The new owner of the complex here seems to be on. He has a one strike rule. You're out."
 
However, that doesn't take away the burden of grief from those who knew Cousart .
 
Michael Montgomery is the victim's brother
 
"I think about him every day," he said. "I can't even go to sleep. I don't even go to sleep because I think about him."
 
Cousart's mother Juanita Cousart she didn't want to go on camera but told WBTV she wanted people know that she felt that justice was served in this case.

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