‘I need help’: Stabbing suspect says no one’s listened to him

Becky Campbell • Aug 15, 2013 at 7:17 AM

A Massachusetts man told a Washington County judge during his arraignment Tuesday on attempted murder charges that he needs help and no one would listen to him about it.

Sanders L. Dixon, 22, 38 High St., Apt. 101, Springfield, Mass., was charged with two counts of attempted first-degree murder. According to police, Dixon stabbed his pregnant girlfriend, Toni Johnson, 18, of Johnson City, in the back as she was about to board a city transit bus following an argument between the two.

See a video report of Dixon's arraignment at the end of this article.

Court records indicate that Johnson and Dixon were in the process of breaking up and he was having a problem with it. She told police Dixon was waiting for her outside her East Watauga Avenue residence Monday morning when she left for a doctor’s appointment.

Dixon, who is jailed with a $200,000 bond, told Washington County Sessions Court Judge James Nidiffer that he knows he needs help, but no one will listen to him.

“Let me warn you, anything you say today can be used against you,” Nidiffer told Dixon several times.

Regardless of the judge’s advice, Dixon kept making statements.

“I been trying to get help from my therapist. I told him the situation Thursday and he ignored me. He ignored me,” Dixon said with a faltering voice. “I need help. And I told this to the police department in my city.”

Assistant District Attorney General Julie Hays told the judge she opposed any bond reduction and asked for a “domestic bond.” She also said Dixon has a prior arrest in Massachusetts for assault and battery.

Nidiffer granted that request for a domestic bond, and it puts extra restrictions on Dixon if he is able to make bond. If he gets out, Dixon cannot have any contact with Johnson.

“Due to the fact your address is in Massachusetts and due to the fact that the alleged stabbing was on a victim who was pregnant, I’m going to leave the bond at $200,000 at this time,” Nidiffer said.

Throughout the brief hearing, Dixon continued to make statements about needing help.

“It seems like no one cared about me. My therapist knew everything. I told him everything, the problems that I had. I just want someone to help me,” he said.

Nidiffer told Dixon, “we’ll appoint the public defender to represent you. You need to tell that kind of information to your lawyer.” Dixon qualified for a public defender because his only income is about $700 a month in disability. There was no information revealed about why Dixon receives disability.

His next court hearing is Aug. 20 at 1:30 p.m.

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