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The Steuben Courier Advocate
  • DA to seek persistent felony offender status for Dixon

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  • BATH | A man convicted of manslaughter in the 2011 death of a Gibson woman will be in front of a judge Monday to find out if he’ll be subject to a harsher sentence.
    After Joseph Dixon’s conviction Jan. 14, Steuben County District Attorney Brooks Baker said he’d be seeking to have Dixon considered a persistent felony offender, which could make him eligible for more prison time than the 10-to 25-year guideline for a manslaughter case.
    Baker said the basic requirement for persistent felony offender status is that a defendant has been convicted of two prior felonies for which they served state prison time, which Dixon has.
    Baker will present to Steuben County Judge Peter Bradstreet evidence of those basic facts at Monday’s hearing.
    But assigning persistent felony status is up to the judge, so Baker will also argue his case by presenting more of Dixon’s lengthy criminal history to try to establish that he’s a continuing threat to the community.
    Dixon was indicted by a grand jury for second-degree murder in the November 2011 death of Delores Warner.
    Warner was beaten to death – she had 20 broken ribs and a broken neck.
    Prosecutors argued that Dixon must have intended to kill her – a requirement for the murder charge – because it wasn’t possible, in Baker’s opinion, to beat someone so badly and not expect their death.
    The jury seemingly didn’t see it that way, acquitting Dixon on the second-degree murder charge but convicting him on the lesser offense of manslaughter.
    Despite that, being declared a persisted felony offender could make Dixon eligible for essentially the same sentence he would have gotten on the murder charge.
    A sentencing date in the case will be set Monday after Dixon’s status is determined by the judge.
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