Just before jury selection was slated to start this morning in the trial of James Dixon, the killer of Islan Nettles decided to reconsider his previous decision to reject a plea deal and take his chances on a jury trial.
After adverse legal developments in the pretrial hearings on Thursday and Friday, Dixon decided to take the offered plea deal. He was facing 25 years in prison if he had been convicted during the jury trial.
His defense attorney Norman Williams tried and failed to block a videotaped 2013 confession by Dixon to NYPD detectives that was played during Friday’s pretrial hearing for the press and the public. The hour long confession was ruled admissible for trial by Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Daniel P. Conviser.
On Thursday the video statement and two written confessions were read in court in which Dixon admitted to punching Nettles so she fell and hit the pavement because ‘his manhood was threatened’.after he tried to hit on Nettles and realized she was a trans female.
Yeah, Dixon and his defense attorney tried to deploy the ‘trans panic defense’. And naw homes, if you didn’t want to deal with a trans female, all your trifling azz had to do was step and be on your merry way.
The District Attorney’s Office initially recommended 17 years for the guilty plea, but the judge who previously presided over the trail, Robert Stoltz, reduced it to 12 years.
“With this conviction, James Dixon has finally been brought to justice for this vicious and lethal assault,” said Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance, Jr in a statement. “Members of the transgender community are far too often the targets of violent crime.”
Dixon will be sentenced on April 19.