EXCLUSIVE: Skilyr Hicks' family speaks out following family violence arrest

Published: Apr. 27, 2017 at 5:26 PM EDT
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Thursday, April 27, 2017

COLUMBIA COUNTY Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) -- A local singer-songwriter is getting ready to spend her 10th night in the Columbia County Jail. 18 year-old Skilyr Hicks, who appeared on America's Got Talent in 2013 is charged with multiple counts of family violence. Now, for the first time, her family is speaking out, and they're talking only to Meredith Anderson.

This incident report depicts a chaotic scene: a drunk girl attacking 3 family members, including her grandmother and her sister. Her sister and mother say they want to set the record straight, and, in the process, maybe help your teenager.

8 million people were tuned in to "America's Got Talent" in 2013 as Skilyr Hicks shared her private pain in a very public way.

"My name is Skilyr Hicks. I'm 14 years-old. I'm going to be doing a song I wrote. I started playing before my dad passed away."

"My heart is sad and filled with sorrow," she sang. "I know there's hope for a better tomorrow."

That performance has since been shared almost 2 million more times on social media. Now, her mug shot following an arrest April 18th is making the rounds. Once again, her private pain is public.

"I was really upset," said Skilyr's sister, Breelyn. "I didn't want her to go to jail."

Skilyr is stil in jail.

The incident report lists Breelyn, her older sister, as a victim. It says Skilyr was "scratching and hitting her face and arms" and pulled her hair. Breelyn wants you to see she's just fine. "The 'main topic' of this became Skilyr beat-up her grandmother," said Jodi Cronk, Skilyr's mother. Breelyn added, "Skilyr just pushed her twice. Me and Skilyr got into it, mostly." Deputies say Skilyr's grandmother fell into a small chest of drawers. Her injuries were listed as red marks on her chest and a contusion on her back. Her Aunt had a contusion on her wrist.

Breelyn admits her sister is not innocent, but she doesn't believe deserves battery charges. "We didn't press [charges]. The state did."

Breelyn says Skilyr snuck out and had been drinking. She woke up the next morning and was still very drunk when things got physical with her family.

When deputies took her blood-alcohol level, it was a staggering 0.126. "It's like self-medicating," Jodi said. "Yeah, basically she kind of uses it so she doesn't have to feel," Breelyn added.

Lately, it's become too much. "She was just saying, 'maybe I should just die so no one will have to worry about me,'" Breelyn said. "'I'm not worthy of living. Nobody loves me.'"

Looking back, they think all of this had been simmering undetected beneath the surface of the girl who seemed to have it all.

Skilyr's mom says she's still in jail because her daughter needs "tough love." People have been ruthless on social media, so that has made all of this even harder. However, she says she's had people reach out to her on social media, saying they have a loved one about to go down that same path. She hopes this interview will help others and, at least, start some much-needed conversations.

If convicted, Skilyr could face a maximum of 3 years and $3,000 in fines, but given her age and a clean record, it's possible she could end up getting time-served or probation.