Plea deal for attempted murder of deputy

Published 9:26 pm Sunday, September 18, 2016

The man accused of attempted murder on a Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office investigator pleaded guilty to lesser crimes last week.

Vinson Burke Dixon Jr. pleaded no contest to assault with a deadly weapon with intent kill, inflicting serious injury, and three counts of possession with the intent to sell cocaine, on Sept. 14 at the Beaufort County Courthouse. Dixon, 47, of Aurora, was sentenced to a minimum of 40 months, to a maximum of 60 months, for the events that took place on Dec. 12, 2014, after investigators with the Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office Drug Unit pulled over a drug suspect on N.C. Highway 306, near the Pamlico County line. The drug unit had three warrants for arrest for Vinson, but Vinson attempted to flee the scene in his vehicle, dragging drug unit Investigator Greg Rowe across the road into a ditch.

“He’s lucky to be alive,” Lt. Russell Davenport, head of the drug unit, said at the time.

Rowe was partially inside the vehicle with this legs near the rear tires; as Dixon accelerated across the road, he ran over Rowe’s leg, and Rowe was thrown from the vehicle, according to a statement from Assistant District Attorney Matthew Rice. Ultimately, both Rowe and the minivan Dixon was driving ended up in the ditch on the opposite side of the road. Rowe was treated for injuries to his shoulder, face and ankle at Vidant Beaufort Hospital, and he credited the soft, wet conditions of the road shoulder for his injuries not being more severe.

Rowe said he’s glad the case has been resolved, and he can put it behind him.

“Hopefully, he can straighten his life out and get back on the right path,” Rowe said.

Dixon was initially charged with attempted first degree murder, assault with a deadly weapon on a government official and assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill inflicting serious injury, along with the drug charges. The attempted murder charge was dropped in the plea agreement.

According to officials, Dixon received 22-months credit on his sentence, since he was incarcerated at the Beaufort County Detention Center, located in the basement of the West Second Street courthouse, since the crime. Initially, his bond was set at $1 million, but it was reduced later to $100,000, according to officials.

Dixon will serve his sentence in the Department of Adults Corrections.