Accused man’s bag contained shotgun, knife, police say

Tony Casey • Aug 16, 2013 at 11:48 AM

A shotgun and a knife were among the items found in a duffle bag Wednesday that police said belonged to a Massachusetts man who was arraigned in Sessions Court on Tuesday for trying to kill his pregnant girlfriend.

A Johnson City police report said Sanders L. Dixon, 22, 38 High St., Apt. 101, Springfield, Mass., had a bag that had come to the Greyhound bus station, 137 W. Market St., on another bus.

Employees at the bus station flagged a duffle bag for its weight Wednesday.

Bus station employees searched the bag and found a shotgun, which had been broken down, as well as a large knife in a box. The report said the items were reportedly wrapped in plastic and were placed in police evidence. Clothes were also found in the bag.

Dixon was charged Monday with two counts of attempted first-degree murder after police said he had stabbed his pregnant girlfriend Toni Johnson, 18, of Johnson City, in the back as she attempted to get on the city transit bus for a doctor’s appointment following an argument she and Dixon had earlier that day.

Earlier reports said one of the witnesses who was riding the transit bus at the time of the incident said the knife used in the stabbing looked like a switchblade.

Police said Dixon had dropped the blade, which was also wrapped in plastic, as wells as a backpack, as he ran away. Officers did not say what was in the bag. Dixon also was able to change his shirt as he fled.

Police said Johnson suffered non-life-threatening injuries.

Dixon, who was being jailed on $200,000 bond, repeatedly told Washington County Sessions Court Judge James Nidiffer that he needs help and his pleas with his therapist had been ignored.

Assistant District Attorney General Julie Hays told Nidiffer she opposed any reduction in bond, and pointed out a prior arrest of Dixon’s in Massachusetts for assault and battery.

Nidiffer kept Dixon’s bond at $200,000, pending a Sessions Court appearance Tuesday at 1:30 p.m.

Nidiffer also placed additional restrictions on Dixon to not make contact with Johnson if he were to make bond.

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