Judge convicts trucker in deaths of trucking company owner, dispatcher

By Clarissa Hawes, Land Line staff writer | Thursday, October 17, 2013

An Iowa judge has found a former truck driver guilty on two counts of first-degree murder in the shooting deaths of a trucking company owner and a dispatcher who worked there.

On Tuesday, Oct. 15, Polk County Judge Arthur Gamble announced his verdict at the bench trial of Ronald J. Hawkinson, 40, a truck driver who formerly worked for LCS Logistics, headquartered in Des Moines. Hawkinson had previously waived his rights to a jury trial.

Jeff Noble of the Polk County Attorney’s Office said Hawkinson’s sentencing is scheduled for 8:30 a.m. on Dec. 3.

Around 5 p.m. on May 17, 2012, officers with the Des Moines Police Department responded to a 911 call about shots being fired at LCS, which was subleasing space from Seibert Trucking. Sherif “Sam” Hidic, 30, owner of LCS Logistics, and Robert Smoot, 49, a dispatcher at LCS, were found dead. Both had been shot multiple times.

According to court documents, Hawkinson and Hidic had previously been involved in a legal battle over a $13,000 business loan to purchase a tractor. In his suit, Hidic alleged that Hawkinson had defaulted on a loan and had left the company and gone to work for another trucking company shortly after being hired on at LCS.

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