Testimony in capital murder trial starts Tuesday
After four weeks of jury selection, testimony will begin Tuesday in the capital trial of a man accused of hiring men to kill his stepmother.
Robert Dennis Dixon, 49, could face the death penalty if a jury finds him guilty of first-degree murder, conspiracy to commit first-degree murder and first-degree burglary. Sara Jones Bright Dixon was found dead of gunshot wounds inside her McCray Road home Nov. 30, 2007.
The last of three alternate jurors was selected Thursday. Robert Dixon’s case will be heard by a jury of seven women, five men and three female alternates.
Testimony is scheduled to begin at 9:30 a.m. Tuesday in the superior courtroom of the Alamance County Historic Courthouse. Testimony in the case is expected to last between three and four weeks.
Alamance County District Attorney Pat Nadolski and Alamance County Assistant District Attorney Sean Boone will argue for the state. Defense attorneys Terry Alford and Stephen Freedman represent Robert Dixon.
Robert Dixon allegedly hired Thomas Clay Friday, 40, to kill Sara Dixon for $10,000. The state believes Robert Dixon was angry with her for putting his father in a nursing home and selling the family land to pay for the care.
Friday pleaded guilty to first-degree murder, conspiracy and first-degree burglary last year in exchange for a life sentence. He testified that Robert Dixon agreed to pay him. Friday said he hired Matthew Devon Fields, 25, to assist with the staged burglary and kill Sara Dixon.
Friday is expected to testify for the state.
Depending on the verdict, the trial could stretch weeks longer.
If found guilty of first-degree murder, the jury must then weigh a life sentence versus the death penalty in a sentencing phase. Prosecutors and defense attorneys would argue their sides before the jury began to deliberate the sentence.