(COLUMBUS, Ohio)—The U.S. Supreme Court has reinstated the murder conviction for Archie Dixon, a Toledo-area killer. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit had set aside conviction, ruling that police had violated Miranda v. Arizona when they obtained a murder confession from Dixon.
Attorney General Mike DeWine appealed to the Supreme Court, arguing that Dixon’s confession was admissible and that his murder convictions should stand.
The Court issued its opinion this morning. All nine justices agreed with DeWine.
“The admission of Dixon’s murder confession was consistent with this Court’s precedents,” the Court held. “Dixon received Miranda warnings before confessing . . . and there is no evidence that any of Dixon’s statements was the product of actual coercion.”
Dixon attacked his friend and former roommate, Christopher Hammer, and then buried him alive. Hammer suffocated to death. A Lucas County jury convicted Dixon of aggravated murder and further recommended that he receive a death sentence. The Ohio Supreme Court unanimously affirmed Dixon’s convictions and death sentence in 2004.
“We are pleased with the Court’s decision,” said Attorney General DeWine. “Mr. Dixon committed a gruesome murder, he confessed, and the Ohio courts gave him a fair trial. The Supreme Court agreed with our position and restored the jury’s guilty verdicts in this case.”
After issuing its decision, the Supreme Court sent the case back to the Sixth Circuit for consideration of Dixon’s other claims.
The Supreme Court’s decision marks the second time this year the Court has acted on an Ohio case. Last May, the Court granted a petition by Attorney General DeWine and reinstated a death sentence for Harry Mitts, who murdered a Garfield Heights police officer.
A copy of the U.S. Supreme Court's decision can be found on the Ohio Attorney General's Website.
Lisa Hackley: 614-466-3840
Dan Tierney: 614-466-3840
David Bobby, Warden vs. Archie Dixon Decision (PDF)