Judge denies diversion for man convicted of stabbing pregnant girlfriend at Johnson City bus stop

Becky Campbell • May 13, 2014 at 1:49 PM

A Massachusetts man was sentenced this week to a year in jail and seven more on probation for stabbing his pregnant girlfriend at a Johnson City bus stop last fall.

Sanders L. Dixon, 22, of Springfield, Mass., had already pleaded guilty to one count of aggravated assault but had asked Judge Stacy Street for judicial diversion. If granted, judicial diversion would have allowed Dixon to get the conviction expunged from his record once his sentence was completed.

Street denied that motion during a hearing Monday.

Dixon was originally charged with two counts of attempted first-degree murder for the Aug. 12, 2013 attack at the corner of East Watauga and Baxter Street that happened as Tori Johnson was waiting to board a city transit bus.

According to police and court records, Johnson, then 18, and Dixon had been in an argument just prior to the stabbing. Johnson told police investigators that she had moved from Massachusetts to Johnson City to get away from Dixon, but he followed her here.

At the time of the stabbing, Johnson was 15 weeks pregnant with Dixon’s child. He was apparently waiting outside her East Watauga Avenue apartment the morning of the stabbing and tried to talk to her when she left to go to a doctor’s appointment.

The two argued and Johnson walked to the bus stop. As she started to board the bus, Dixon stabbed her, police said.

Investigators said Dixon used a knife with a four-inch blade to stab Johnson. Police later determined that a duffle bag belonging to Dixon that he brought with him from Massachusetts held a shotgun and knife.

Dixon has been in custody since the day of the stabbing and will receive credit on his one-year sentence for that time. After his release, Dixon will serve seven years on probation.

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