A Wilson Times Co. publication · Serving Southern Nash County Since 1947

Murder suspect can bail out of jail

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NASHVILLE — A Nash County woman accused of killing her sister-in-law more than a decade ago and arrested last year can be free on bail — as soon as she raises the money.

Kimberly Hancock, 50, stands charged by the Nash County Sheriff’s Office with first-degree murder in the 2004 death of Deborah Deans. The 29-year-old woman had been missing for 16 years when in October, authorities found her remains in a trash pile behind Hancock’s home on Wiley Road just outside Spring Hope.

A judge granted Hancock a $750,000 secured bond. She hasn’t been able to pay the 10% required for a bondsman and remains incarcerated as of last week.

Since the homicide is said to have taken place in 2004, court procedures including bail and punishment must follow laws in place at that time. Defendants charged with first-degree murder in a recent homicide are typically denied bail.

Deans’ mother Elaine Blevins said she hoped Hancock would never again see the light of day, but she trusts the justice system.

Deans lived with Hancock at the time of her death. When questioned about Deans in 2004, Hancock said Deans skipped town, according to authorities.

Still missing is Hancock’s brother, Roger Wade Ayscue. He hasn’t been seen in a decade after disappearing from Castalia in 2009.

Hancock killed her father in 1989. Then 18 years old, she shot him in the face with a .25-caliber pistol while he slept on the family’s sofa. She pleaded guilty to manslaughter and received a six-year suspended sentence since her father had been abusive, according to court records.

Detectives questioned Hancock about Deans when she disappeared, but Hancock said she hadn’t seen Deans recently and didn’t know where she went, according to archived news reports.

Deans, a waitress, left behind four young children when she vanished. Two of those children ended up in foster care.

Sheriff Keith Stone attributed the big break in the case to a tip from the Fighting Crime News and Who’s Wanted Facebook page.

“The tip was very detailed, and this information came to us rapidly,” Stone said in October at the site of the grisly discovery.

Hancock isn’t set to appear again in court until December, according to an online criminal court calendar.