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Posted on Sat, Feb 23, 2013 : 3:30 p.m.

Ann Arbor man accused of having sex with girl in elevator before lighting it on fire takes plea deal

By John Counts


Darion Cole-Hickonbottom

Courtesy of the Washtenaw County Jail

The 23-year-old Ann Arbor man who police say lit a fire in a parking structure elevator after having sex with a 14-year-old girl pleaded guilty to arson and sexual assault charges Thursday.

Darion Cole-Hickonbottom will spend between 34-67 months in prison, according to a plea deal struck before Judge David Swartz in the Washtenaw County Trial Court.

A charge of larceny from a vehicle had previously been dismissed, attorneys said. Three counts of third-degree CSC will be dismissed at the time of sentencing. In exchange for the dismissal of those charges, Cole-Hickonbottom pleaded guilty to three added counts of CSC, assault with intent to penetrate.

Sentencing is scheduled for March 14.

Police say Cole-Hickonbottom and the 14-year-old girl first stole an Xbox controller and clothing from vehicles parked inside the University of Michigan structure on South Forest Avenue on July 22.

Cole-Hickonbottom and the girl then made their way to the parking structure on Church Street, where they allegedly had sex inside the elevator, police said. While still in the elevator, Cole-Hickonbottom started a fire on the floor using cardboard and at least one of the items of clothing taken from a vehicle, according to police.

U-M police received a call from Cole-Hickonbottom from the emergency phone at the Church Street parking structure at 6:22 a.m. Police soon decided he was the likely suspect in the arson that burned the elevator cab, causing around $3,000 worth of damage.

The other two CSC counts Cole-Hickonbottom pleaded guilty to stem from sexual incidents that took place with the 14-year-old girl between July 20 and 22 at Veterans Memorial Park in Ann Arbor, police said.

Cole-Hickonbottom remains in the Washtenaw County Jail on a $250,000 cash bond.

John Counts covers cops and courts for He can be reached at or you can follow him on Twitter.


Superior Twp voter

Mon, Feb 25, 2013 : 6:47 p.m.

Only 3-5 for CSC and attempting to burn down a multi-million dollar parking structure??? Quite lenient, your Honor. Oh yea, forgot to mention all the other criminal charges that were dropped...

John Counts

Mon, Feb 25, 2013 : 1:56 p.m.

Hi JRW: Cole-Hickonbottom appeared in Judge David Swartz's courtroom Thursday. I've added that detail to the story.


Sun, Feb 24, 2013 : 8:14 p.m.

He will get three meals a day, free utilities, clothing, exercise room, cable and time to plot with others like him to move on to bigger things. He is an adult sexual deviant and will learn to become even worse. The only thing that will ever change this type of useless creature is fear and they have none. Family values and parental guidance cannot be infused if it never existed. They know how to work the corrupt LIBERAL system and law-abiding, hard-working taxpayers, (like who have their cars vandalized by scum like this) have to pay for him to live decently and then get tax increases as a thank you. I'm all for floating prisons with basic food, water, a bucket, a blanket, a cot, a shower, a clean jumpsuit, a toothbrush and library books. Not inhumane. Just common sense.


Sun, Feb 24, 2013 : 6:03 a.m.

Never should offer these thugs plea deals. Is Melinda Morris involved? I read she was unfortunately back on the bench replacing someone who was having surgery. (Are we ever going to get rid of her?) No mention of who the judge was in this plea debacle. Any way to find out?


Sun, Feb 24, 2013 : 5:39 a.m.

Has anyone noticed, the number of candidates competing for Darwin Awards is increasing rapidly. A new reality TV show might be titled, "And what made you think this would be a good idea?"


Sun, Feb 24, 2013 : 2:08 a.m.



Sun, Feb 24, 2013 : 3:17 a.m.

"Dear Peggy, I made them in my image. But society distorts them through exploitation, manipulation, inhumanity and injustice. After a few years down there in that capitalist purgatory, they don't resemble me at all." Signed, God.


Sun, Feb 24, 2013 : 2:01 a.m.


An Arborigine

Sun, Feb 24, 2013 : 1:12 a.m.

Did he take the plea of Stupid?


Tue, Feb 26, 2013 : 3:31 p.m.

yes sir!


Sat, Feb 23, 2013 : 11:20 p.m.

Just take a step back and read that headline


Sat, Feb 23, 2013 : 9:45 p.m.

Yet another fine upstanding young adult who merely lost his way ... I'm sure just a little incarceration time will provide the rehabilitation this fine man will utilize to surely become a true ann arborite ~


Sun, Feb 24, 2013 : 12:46 p.m.

Protect ??? what ever happened to family values , respect , and religious beliefs...Oh I forgot this is the nanny state ....


Sat, Feb 23, 2013 : 10:36 p.m.

Seriously, unfortunately, once a person gets past childhood the chances become very slim, but never impossible. But, that is why protecting and helping children is so very important.


Sat, Feb 23, 2013 : 10:33 p.m.

Of course, because you can make a person change, and make them care and feel sympathy, empathy, and compassion for others. That is why this world is such a wonderful place for everybody in it.


Sat, Feb 23, 2013 : 9:10 p.m.

And in 1 year he will be out Doing 14 year olds again --HE is a perv LOCK him up PLEASE But no to much work for our court system


Sun, Feb 24, 2013 : 3:29 a.m.

Don't worry, he is not going to have fun in prison.

Susan Ursus

Sat, Feb 23, 2013 : 11:08 p.m.

In Michigan, the convicted MUST serve at least the minimum. He will do at least 37 months (including whatever time he has served in jail).


Sat, Feb 23, 2013 : 10:27 p.m.

anti-thug, I don't get it. Are you implying that most people would behave this badly and that is an excuse for what he did? If so, God help us. Also, how is any of this really funny?


Sat, Feb 23, 2013 : 9:40 p.m.