After buying more cocaine, he realized his stepdaughter would place him at the scene of the crime and could be a potential witness. He returned and smothered her with a pillow. When this failed to kill his stepdaughter, he tried to use his own hands, and then duct taped her mouth and nose. He attempted to dismember Armstrong in the bathtub, but gave up after nearly cutting one of her legs off. Returning to the body of Brandy Green, he removed her panties and penetrated her with his finger. His last plans in the apartment were to steal a checkbook, a ring, a .32 caliber pistol, and a box of ammunition. After returning to his apartment around 3 a.m., he fled Cincinnati at 6 a.m.. He was arrested two days later in Knoxville, Tennessee on August 4, 1985.
He was sentenced to death on March 3, 1986 for the aggravated murder of Brandy Green.
John Hicks died by lethal injection at 10:20 a.m. on November 29, 2005 at the Southern Ohio Correctional Facility in Lucasville, Ohio.