By Linda Cicoira — A convicted murderer, who is serving 98 years in prison, was denied requests in Northampton Circuit Court Wednesday that he hoped would help clear his name and free him from a life behind bars.
A handcuffed Marcus Lashaun Dixon, 35, formerly of Washington Avenue in Cape Charles, served as his own lawyer during a video teleconference from River North Correctional Center in Independence, Va. Dixon sat at a table. He had documents in front of him, which he struggled with due to the handcuffs. On the other end was Judge W. Revell Lewis III seated at the bench in a courtroom, in Eastville.
On Tuesday, Dixon fired his attorney, Brandon Wilder. The lawyer stayed on to advise him at the request of Dixon and the judge.
A jury convicted Dixon of first-degree murder, burglary, robbery, and firearm offenses in the 2006 death of 72-year-old Lawrence Allen Massie, a Northampton resident who was described as an enthusiastic Virginia Lottery player. Dixon’s terms were set to run consecutively with none of the time suspended. He was sentenced by Judge Glen A. Tyler, who has since retired.
Massie was found shot to death in his home. The victim had six gunshot wounds, four of which were fatal, according to an autopsy. Massie was robbed of clothing, the two wallets he always carried, and cash. The door to his house was opened by force and there were signs that he had been beaten, records showed.
Dixon’s wallet was found at the scene and two eyewitnesses identified him as the shooter. Dixon denied being connected to the incident. “When I was investigated, I did not have any knowledge of the crime,” he said.
A video recording was made of Massie purchasing two tickets at the Cape Charles Corner Mart the day before he was killed. It was believed he was targeted because of money he had won.
Dixon’s motions for DNA analysis and preservation of evidence were disputed by Commonwealth’s Attorney Beverly Leatherbury, Lt. Michelle Hallett, of the Northampton County Sheriff’s Office, and Ann Pollard, a state forensic scientist.
Dixon wanted what he believed was new DNA testing done on cartridges that were found at Massie’s house. Leatherbury argued the type of DNA testing that Dixon wanted had been available for two decades. “Why did you wait 11 years?” she asked. Leatherbury said the testing couldn’t be done now anyway because the cartridges had already been altered by other forensic testing.
Dixon said there were .20-caliber and .40 -aliber bullets found, which proved that there was more than one gun and that the jury was never told. Leatherbury said former Commonwealth’s Attorney Bruce Jones, who prosecuted the case, disclosed that information to Dixon’s lawyers before the trial.
Dixon said he hadn’t been told about it. He thought there were two bullets when there were actually two pictures of the same bullet. Hallette said she had a picture of the ammo, which was found on a shelf under a table, and that it was disclosed to Dixon’s counsel. The ammo was never confiscated.
“Why didn’t you collect those if you were looking for bullets?” Dixon asked.
“We didn’t find any expended,” said Hallette.
“If there was no latent prints, there wouldn’t be any DNA,” said Pollard. She said superglue was used in prior testing that was done with ungloved hands. “If all three tests were requested, first the DNA would be done. We cannot do DNA after a latent test is done.”
Dixon wanted a copy of the photographs and a transcript of the hearing. Lewis ordered those items be sent to him.