Dixon sentenced to 20 years for death of Christopher Tukes
The sentence, passed down by Superior Court Judge Rusty Smith, was the maximum sentence allowable for the charge of voluntary manslaughter.
Although Dixon was charged with Malice Murder and Felony Murder in his Dec. 2021 indictment, the jury, on Thursday, June 15, returned a verdict finding Dixon guilty of voluntary manslaughter.
Following the statements from family members and friends of both Tukes and Dixon during the sentencing hearing on Friday, Chief Assistant District Attorney Suzanne Boykin requested that Dixon be sentenced to the maximum allowable time to serve.
“Mr Dixon does not have a criminal history, however he did take the life of 30 year old Christopher Deshun Tukes,” she stated. “He did this in a public park. He did this in broad daylight, And he shot Mr. Tukes in the back as he was running away The Jury found that he did it in a fit of passion, but that does not deter from the fact that he shot a man that was yards away from him, as he was running away, with an AR-15. The State will be asking to sentence Broderique. Dixon to the maximum sentence allowable, which is 20 years.”
Dixon’s attorney Adam Cain also pointed out the statements made by community members in support of Dixon’s character, and said the situation was tragic for the entire community. He also mentioned that the person who created the deadly situation had not been charged.
“You sat on the bench and heard the evidence, you heard the statements from both the Tukes family, and Mr. Dixon’s family and friends in the community,” Cain said. “This is a case that is an unfortunate case, judge, for the community of Stephens County, for the Tukes family, and for Mr. Dixon’s family. This situation was created by Mr. Martin. Who had to pay for it? Unfortunately, Mr. Tukes, with his life, as well as Mr. Dixon, here before you today, facing what he is going to be facing for the charge of voluntary manslaughter, which a jury of his peers have convicted him of.”
In handing down the sentence, Smith said that the circumstances of the case, including that the victim was shot twice in the back, requires the maximum sentence allowable, but noted that the sentence is not an indication that Dixon is a bad person. He also stated that he is tired of sending young men to prison.
No sentence can bring Mr. Tukes back,” he said. “The facts of this case, where an individual fleeing is shot twice, in the back, requires that the court impose the maximum sentence of 20 years to serve. I am tired of sending young men to prison. And that is not a punishment that is imposed because Mr. Dixon is a bad person – clearly he is not – but he has to be accountable for his actions, and that sentence recognizes the seriousness of that conduct.”
In a brief interview with the prosecution following the sentencing hearing, Boykin stated that the trail “went as smoothly as this trail was going to go.”
She said the reduction of the charges, from murder to voluntary manslaughter, was not a surprise.
“It is very common in cases like this, especially where a self defense claim has been raised, so no, we were not surprised by the voluntary manslaughter going to the jury at all,” she said. “Obviously, we were hoping for a murder conviction. We thought that would be appropriated, but we respect the jury’s verdict. We respect that they came back with voluntary manslaughter — that they found that there was provocation for the shooting, and with that, I believe the court did impose the most fair sentence that he could. I think it’s justified and I think that is what the community deserves.”
She also thanked the jury for their service, and said she hoped that this trail would lead to less violence in the community.
“I appreciate the jury’s service. i hate that these kinds of cases are occurring here in Stephen County, and i hope that this, going forward, lets the community know what the issues are in the county,” she said. “I hope that it deters any future violence. Any time you have these types of cases, it’s a tragedy all the way around. Theres no outcome thats going to soothe the victims family, they lost a family member and they are going to grieve regardless. But with the judge’s sentence, I think that will go a long way towards healing.”
At the close of the sentencing hearing, the judge addressed the procedural issues involved in the defendant requesting a new trial. Boykin said that the request for a new trial is standard, and occurs in almost every case, and it that request is denied, it typically goes to appeal.
WNEG News will continue to follow this case and provide updates as they occur.