COBB COUNTY, Ga. — A grand jury has indicted a man following the deaths of an Acworth couple last year. The same man is also accused of stabbing a Sandy Springs officer in a separate incident a day later; the wounded cop survived the attack.
The indictment in Cobb County lists charges against Matthew Lanz for two counts of malice murder, four counts of felony murder, one count of home invasion, two counts of aggravated assault, two counts of possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony, one count of cruelty to children in the second degree, and one count of tampering with evidence.
The couple, Justin Hicks, 31, and Amber Hicks, 31, were killed in their new home back in November. Family members said they were childhood sweethearts, growing up down the street from each other. Justin served as a firefighter in Cherokee County.
The Hicks' 2-year-old son, Jacob, was at the home when his parents were found shot to death. He was rescued by police unharmed. Lanz, according to the indictment, was charged with cruelty to children for causing "cruel and excessive physical and mental pain," to the child by leaving him "alone and unsupervised for approximately 12 hours during which Jacob Hicks was unable to feed himself, change his diaper, or get the attention of his parents."
The tampering with evidence charge is due to Lanz allegedly removing shell casings from the murder scene in an attempt to avoid his apprehension and prosecution, according to the indictment.
One day later after the couple was found dead, Sandy Springs Police confronted the suspect, Lanz, during a home intrusion call - not knowing at the time he was also the suspect in the Acworth case.
Thursday, Sandy Springs Police released violent and graphic bodycam video showing the stabbing. Video showed the man stabbing the officer in the back of the neck as he reached the bottom of a staircase. Other officers use their Tasers and one shot Lanz twice while the injured officer bled profusely onto the carpet.
Lanz, who also survived, remained on the ground and continued to struggle against officers, yelling several times as the officer was bleeding.
In Sandy Springs, he faces 35 counts, including 10 each of felony obstruction, aggravated assault on a police officer and attempted murder on a police officer.