Prosecutors, including Bartow County Sheriff's Office and Cartersville and Emerson police investigators say Dixon is the man -- wearing a North Face jacket, gloves and ski mask; holding a B.B. gun in his left hand; and carrying a back pack -- depicted in surveillance videos of the incidents in which Boone was involved and two more prior armed robberies.
Superior Court Judge Shepherd Howell, who is presiding over the trial, directed a not guilty verdict on one armed robbery count against Dixon due to what District Attorney Joe Campbell called an error in drafting the 13-count indictment. Dixon is still accused of false imprisonment of the clerk during the alleged Feb. 17, 2009, armed robbery of the Texaco on Cass-White Road.
He is also accused of the Dec. 21, 2008, armed robbery of the Kangaroo Express/BP on East Main Street in Cartersville; the Jan. 27, 2009, armed robbery of the Bojangles on Joe Frank Harris Parkway in Cartersville; the Feb. 12, 2009, armed robbery of the Red Top Mountain Road Texaco; and Feb. 18, 2009, armed robbery of the Kangaroo on Glade Road near Interstate 75. Prosecutors say Dixon was also involved in the attempted robbery of The Lion's Den adult products convenience store on Feb. 17, 2009.
Wednesday's testimony included that of convenience store personnel involved in the alleged armed robberies and attempted armed robbery and law enforcement officers who responded. In most incidents, workers testified that two men with guns, wearing ski masks and gloves walked in the store during the late night or early morning hours, demanding money.
Lion's Den personnel testified two men cased the place, and video surveillance later showed two subjects entering the business, then running away, as if they had been "spooked," according to Campbell. Jurors viewed that and other footage Wednesday.
A former Emerson police officer testified that the phone and alarm system at the Red Top Texaco appeared as if it had been tampered with, and the clerk said she had tried to push the panic button and use the phone to no avail. She and another worker used a cell phone to call police.
Campbell told jurors in a closing argument that the case was about the totality of the circumstantial evidence police gathered against Dixon, including the back pack he was carrying when arrested in Cobb County. The district attorney said the March 2, 2009, arrests of Boone and Dixon came as the two were headed to commit another armed robbery, as the pair had parked a short distance from a Shell station off Wade Green Road, leaving the keys on top of the car, and were in possession of ski masks, gloves and B.B. guns.
The back pack was seen in surveillance video of all the incidents, expect the alleged Bojangles armed robbery, Campbell said, adding there was no surveillance video at that location. Campbell pointed out that police while executing a search warrant at Dixon's home found Bojangles' property, including a deposit slip that had been completed shortly before the incident.
At that time, Dixon was a Bojangles employee and had left work 30 minutes to an hour before the alleged armed robbery, Campbell said. Two men were reported to rob the business, but Boone was not charged in connection with that crime. Boone was also not charged with the Dec. 21, 2008, incident at Kangaroo Express/BP on East Main Street in Cartersville.
Another piece of evidence Campbell pointed to in closing was Dixon's alleged purchase of a B.B. gun the day before the Bojangles incident. He said there were a number of similarities in all the alleged armed robberies, including a left-handed suspect, either one or both of the men wearing North Face jackets; authorities say they found one of those jackets and it belonged to Boone. Others likenesses included ski masks, gloves, isolated stores, late hours and making alleged victims lay face down while the robbers exited.
"It's not a left-handed [suspect]. It's not a ski mask. It's not a North Face jacket. It's not a back pack. It's all of the above," Campbell told jurors.
He added Dixon is left-handed and had also worked at the East Main Street store, and pointed to the testimony of Dixon's former girlfriend who said she allowed him to drive her Nissan Altima, the vehicle police believe was used in some of the alleged robberies.
The girlfriend added that Boone and Dixon "were always together."
Dixon's attorney, Jamie Wyatt, who presented no evidence, said in closing that the evidence does not connect Dixon to the crimes. He argued there was still reasonable doubt and a lack of evidence, pointing out that police never found a North Face jacket belonging to Dixon.
There was also no testimony the defendant owned such a coat, Wyatt said, adding that ski masks and gloves are "generic" and commonplace in cold weather.
Wyatt reminded jurors Dixon's former girlfriend said he drove her car most often between the hours of 5 and 10 p.m., and the alleged armed robberies occurred later in the night. The defense attorney also said he believes there were four to five total people involved in the incidents because some were violent with a lot of cursing, while some alleged victims described their robbers as "polite," and in only two the alleged armed robberies were cigarettes and beer taken.
The six-woman, seven-man jury, including the alternate, is expected to continue deliberations today. Dixon, who is currently incarcerated at the Bartow County jail, is charged with five counts of armed robbery, six counts of false imprisonment and one count of attempted armed robbery.