Jury: Dixon guilty
Published 2:59 pm Monday, April 23, 2007
By By Kerry Whipple Bean – publisher
After hearing testimony of an alleged affair, a simmering feud and a drunken night on the road, an Escambia County jury on Thursday convicted Roger Anthony Dixon of attempted murder and shooting into an occupied vehicle.
Dixon, who will be sentenced May 23, could serve 10 years to life on the attempted murder charge and two to 20 years on the shooting charge.
According to testimony during the trial, Dixon shot at David Jackson and Brad Cary in the early morning hours of May 14, 2005, at Maxwell's Quick Mart. Cary was in his vehicle, while Jackson was outside of his truck.
Prosecutors contended that Dixon drove his truck in a circle around Jackson and Cary while they were parked at the gas station, shot at them at least four times and hit a gas pump as he drove off. Neither Jackson nor Cary was injured in the incident.
But Dixon testified that his truck was parked farther away from the two men, and that he did fire shots from a .22 caliber pistol, but they were shot into the air. He admitted that he hit and damaged the gas pump as he drove away. Dixon said he was drunk that night from at least 10 shots of whiskey, a dozen beers and a Xanax. Dixon said he drove away from the scene and threw his pistol into the Escambia River.
Police officers testified that they found shell casings in the area where Jackson and Cary said they were shot but found none in the area where Dixon said he was parked.
Defense attorney John Jernigan said in his closing statement that those casings were not the type that Dixon normally shot, and a box bearing that brand was not found in Dixon's vehicle when police searched it.
Dixon also said he could not have driven his vehicle in the manner that prosecutors suggested when he did the shooting, saying that he later tried to make the turn around the gas pump and was unable to do so.
Dixon and his family members testified during the trial that he was such a good marksman he would not have missed Jackson if he had actually been aiming for him. His brother testified that Dixon was even a good shot when he was drunk.
Dixon testified that he and Jackson had been involved in incidents before. Dixon had had an affair with Jackson's wife, according to testimony given during the trial.
Dixon pleaded guilty in 2005 to a misdemeanor after an incident in which he shot into Jackson's house.
Dixon also filed several police reports after incidents involving Jackson and told the jury last week he feared for his life the night of the shooting.
But Dixon's ex-wife and ex-girlfriend testified that he had been physically and verbally abusive to them.
The jury took less than two hours Thursday morning to return a guilty verdict. Dixon was immediately taken into custody and is being held on $1 million bond.