2021 | Courts

September date set for off-duty Pentagon officer’s murder trial

Officer charged with fatally shooting two men in Takoma Park

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A trial has been set for Sept. 27 in the case of an off-duty Pentagon officer charged with murdering two men in Takoma Park three months ago.

David Hall Dixon, 40, is accused of killing 32-year-old Dominique Williams, of Hyattsville, and James Lionel Johnson, 38, of District Heights in the parking lot of the Takoma Overlook Condominiums at 7333 New Hampshire Ave on April 7.

Dixon, who lives in Boyds, told Takoma Park police that he saw people in a Lexus that day and that someone tried to break into another vehicle, police have said.

Dixon told police that when he confronted the group, the Lexus driver tried to run him over and he fired multiple shots. Surveillance video from the apartment building shows Dixon firing multiple rounds from behind the Lexus as it was leaving, police have said.

Michael Thomas, 36, of Washington, D.C., drove Williams and Johnson to a hospital, where they died. Thomas survived and later fled from the hospital.

Thomas will not be charged, police have said.

On April 30, Montgomery County State’s Attorney John McCarthy announced that Dixon had been indicted on charges of murder and attempted murder.

Montgomery County Circuit Court Judge Debra Dwyer asked attorneys for the prosecution and defense during a hearing on Thursday if they agreed on Sept. 27 for the start of a five-day trial. Assistant State’s Attorney George Simms III said he was, while defense attorney William Brennan initially said he thought it might be too soon.

Brennan said Dixon’s defense team hadn’t seen the autopsy or forensic firearms report, and that they were considering hiring a pathologist as an expert in the case.

Simms then said that prosecutors received the autopsy on Thursday for both shooting victims. The attorneys ultimately agreed on the September trial date.

Dixon has also been indicted on first- and second-degree assault charges in connection with a May 2020 incident in which he can be seen on video pointing a shotgun at a woman in the lobby of the same apartment building. Dixon also pepper-sprayed the woman, according to the indictment.

On Thursday, attorneys on both sides agreed on a trial date of Oct. 12 in the assault case.

Brennan added during Thursday’s hearing that he is concerned about prosecutors introducing evidence into the homicide trial from events that didn’t take place on April 7.

Simms said prosecutors are planning to introduce criminal evidence from the May 2020 assault and a July 2020 incident in Washington, D.C.

During the July incident, Dixon allegedly pulled out his service weapon and pointed it at a man after the man threatened to kill Dixon, according to D.C. police. Dixon has not been charged in connection with that incident.

Dan Schere can be reached at daniel.schere@bethesdamagazine.com