Sunday, June 23, 2024

Wilmington man sentenced for the fatal beating of bus passenger

Antonio Dickens, 41

NEW HANOVER COUNTY — A Wilmington man pled guilty to brutal beating a city bus passenger and will serve up to 23 years in prison.

Antonio Dickens, 41, was sentenced Thursday in New Hanover County Superior Court for second-degree murder for killing 58-year-old Kenneth Cross.

On January 12, 2021, deputies responded to Gardner Drive near Wilmington International Airport in reference to an assault call from a Wave Transit bus driver. When deputies arrived, Dickens was standing outside a parked bus while the driver attempted to render aid to cross, who was laying unconscious and bloodied on the bus floor.

The driver and another passenger told law enforcement Dickens launched an unprovoked attack on Cross minutes after boarding the bus. Surveillance video from an onboard camera captured video and audio of the assault as well.

Footage shows Dickens verbally harassing Cross from the rear of the bus; Cross switched seats in an attempt to get farther away. Shortly thereafter, Dickens punched Cross multiple times in the face and head and continued to beat him while he was unconscious. Dickens then kicked and stomped on Cross’ head before exiting the bus.

Cross remained hospitalized for 17 months before succumbing to his injuries in June 2022.

Dickens has previously been convicted of assault on a female, communicating threats and drug offences in North Carolina. He was also convicted on assault of a family member and destruction of personal property in Virginia in 2004.

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