Washoe County District Attorney Christopher Hicks has devoted his professional career to achieving justice and promoting public safety. DA Hicks joined the Washoe County District Attorney’s Office in 2005 after having served the citizens of Carson City as a prosecutor from 2002 until 2005. He served Washoe County as a Deputy District Attorney and Chief Deputy District Attorney until his successful election in 2014.
During his tenure, DA Hicks has successfully prosecuted thousands of cases including such notable defendants as Chaz Higgs the murderer of Nevada’s elected State Controller Kathy Augustine and James Michael Biela who abducted and murdered Brianna Denison and sexually assaulted two other University of Nevada students. He is currently prosecuting Wilbur Ernesto Martinez Guzman alleged to have murdered 3 women and 1 man, of which three were elderly, over a 12-day period in January of 2019 in northern Nevada.
As District Attorney, DA Hicks has outlined the office’s priorities into four categories: Victim Services, Public Safety, Public Outreach, and Increased Efficiencies. As such, during his administration he has increased prosecution efforts against the worst offenders while also initiating several successful new victim services programs. He has expanded the role of victim advocates within the office and spearheaded statewide efforts to pass and implement Nevada’s Victims Bill of Rights – Marsy’s Law. Under DA Hicks’ leadership, the Washoe County Child Advocacy Center, a facility that has revolutionized the approach to investigating physical and sexual abuse cases against children, has grown into a highly effective and award-winning center fostering successful, victim-centered prosecutions. DA Hicks also created a first of its kind Specialty Court Diversion Team, sought and obtained hundreds of thousands of dollars in grant funding to improve traffic safety throughout the state through training and education, and created specialized prosecutor positions to combat human trafficking, domestic abuse and sexual violence. He has increased the office’s connection with the community through education and outreach, as well as improved communication and transparency through the creation of a public information officer position and the public reporting on officer involved shooting incidents. Additionally, he has instituted several modern and cost-effective innovations into the everyday workflow of the Office, such as a comprehensive paperless system of case management.
DA Hicks serves on the Nevada Attorney General’s Prosecutor Advisory Council and the State of Nevada’s Sentencing Commission. He recently served on the Nevada Supreme Court’s Commission on Statewide Rules of Criminal Procedure and Commission to Study Evidence-Based Pretrial Release, both of which produced statewide adopted practices improving the administration of justice in the state. He is a longstanding member of the National District Attorney’s Office and is a past President of the Nevada District Attorney’s Association. DA Hicks is active in the community volunteering as a Youth Mentor at the Maison T Ortiz Outdoor Youth Skills Camp, judging local high school mock trial competitions, and coaching youth soccer and basketball.
Born and raised in Reno, Nevada, DA Hicks is a fifth generation northern Nevadan. He attended the University of Nevada, Reno and the University of Nevada, Las Vegas and was a member of the inaugural graduating class of the Boyd School of Law in Las Vegas. He is a loving father of a son and three daughters, and a devoted husband to his wife Nicole, who is also a prosecutor.
DA Hicks was sworn in as the 37th District Attorney in Washoe County on January 5th, 2015 and won re-election to the office in 2018.