Man charged in fatal shooting over free firewood in Taylor

73-year-old man faces charges after neighbor’s deadly shooting

A father was shot and killed in Taylor following a dispute over free firewood June 15, 2021.
A father was shot and killed in Taylor following a dispute over free firewood June 15, 2021.

TAYLOR, Mich. – A 73-year-old Taylor man is charged in connection with a fatal shooting June 15 in the 6400 block of Cornell Street.

Eddie Arnold Hicks is accused of shooting a neighbor multiple times during a physical altercation on that Tuesday evening. Officials said the victim, 46-year-old Barry Bellestri, was giving away firewood and became upset when Hicks was dragging it, tearing up his driveway.

The two men exchanged words when shots were fired. Hicks’ wife and daughter said it was a case of self-defense, saying Bellestri attacked him with a shovel. The Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office said “more complete facts” will be presented at the preliminary examination.

Hicks faces one count of second-degree murder, one count of manslaughter, and two counts of felony firearm. He is expected to be arraigned Thursday in 23rd District Court.

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Dave Bartkowiak Jr. is the digital managing editor for ClickOnDetroit.