Three days after withdrawing from a plea agreement to leave his fate in the hands of a jury, Rashad Morgan retracted his decision, choosing instead to plead guilty to the homicide of Lavecchia Dixon, and collecting a 91-year sentence to the Arkansas Department of Correction.
Family members and loved ones of Dixon, who was 28 years old when she died shortly after being airlifted to the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences in Little Rock, watched as Morgan told Judge Hamilton Singleton how he was responsible for the death of his victim.
“I stabbed Lavecchia Dixon,” Morgan conceded.
The Arkansas State Crime Lab report accounted for more than a hundred stab and cut wounds spanning Dixon’s body, as well as depressed blunt force fractures that Morgan said were produced by a .380 semi-automatic pistol.
According to a probable cause affidavit, El Dorado Police officers were summoned to the 700th block of S. Murphy in reference to a domestic disturbance where frantic children pointed them to the residence where Morgan and Dixon were found. When officers arrived on the scene of the incident, Morgan, who had locked the front door of the residence, exited with a handgun, pointing it at the four officers present. He was shot when repeated commands to drop the gun went unheeded.
Morgan entered guilty pleas to the amended charges of murder in the first degree, for which he was sentenced to 40 years in prison, firearm enhancement - seven years, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon - 2o years, four counts of aggravated assault - six years each count for a total of 24 years. Each sentence is to run consecutively with the others for a total effective sentence of 91 years.
Morgan’s plea deal amended the murder charge from capital murder, one of two crimes in Arkansas punishable by life imprisonment without parole or death by lethal injection. The deal also nol prossed three additional counts of aggravated assault and enhancement for committing a felony in the presence of Dixon’s three children.
In 2005, Morgan was arrested on first-degree murder charges stemming from the shooting death of Thomas Davis at the Budget Inn Motel on West Hillsboro. The following June, he pleaded guilty to an amended charge of delivery of a controlled substance – crack cocaine and was sentenced to 15 years in the ADC, with the balance of the sentence suspended for five years.
In other court cases:
• Marvin Stewart was sentenced to five years in the ADC and five years suspended imposition of sentencing. He pleaded guilty to possession of a controlled substance – methamphetamine less than two grams and possession of drug paraphernalia. The charges of two counts of theft of property and habitual offender status were nol prossed. He was credited with 179 days of pretrial incarceration.
• Reginald Wilbour pleaded guilty to theft of property credit/debit card as a habitual offender and was sentenced to five years in the ADC with credit for 43 days of pretrial incarceration.
• Chris Harris was sentenced to five years in the ADC when a petition to revoke his probation was granted. Harris pleaded true to violating his 2013 initiated five-year probation issued for his guilty plea of theft by receiving and aggravated assault on a family or household member. Some of the conditions Harris broke were his arrest for traffic violations, testing positive for the use of controlled substances, and failing to report to his parole officer. He was credited for 50 days of pretrial incarceration.
• A petition to terminate Megan Jenkins from the Alternative Sentencing Program was granted when she entered a plea of true to violating the conditions of the program. She was accepted into ASP in December with her guilty statement for committing the crime of non-financial identity theft. Jenkins was given an additional second chance with a new five-year probation sentence. She violated the ASP by testing positive for the use of amphetamines on four separate occasions; the last when she was at the end of her second trimester of pregnancy.
• Denver Robinson’s probation was extended three years when he entered a plea of true to violating the terms and conditions of his probation. Robinson began his five-year probation sentence in September 2012, when he pleaded guilty to aggravated assault. Among the conditions Robinson breached were testing positive for the use of controlled substances and not reporting to his supervising officer. Robinson is still considered a first time offender.
• Gladys Flowers entered a plea of guilty to theft of property with a value greater than $1,000 and was accepted into the ASP.
• Roshunda Hildreath was accepted into the ASP when she pleaded guilty to theft of property with value greater than $1,000. Hildreath has no prior felony convictions and if she successfully completes the ASP, the charges will be expunged.
• Malik Hill entered the ASP when he pleaded guilty to the charges of attempted residential burglary and criminal mischief in the first degree. He is set for review in July.
• Brandon Pratt graduated from the ASP. He was allowed to withdraw his plea of guilty and his record was expunged.
• Renisha Green was recommended for graduation from the ASP. Upon her complete payment of fees, she will graduate.
• The charge of violating the Arkansas Hot Check Law against Brandy Alewine was nol prossed upon her payment of fines.