Man guilty of capital murder in shooting death of Little River-Academy police chief

Posted at 7:24 PM, Jun 06, 2016
and last updated 2016-06-06 20:36:23-04

A jury has found 58-year-old David Risner guilty of capital murder in the 2014 shooting death of Little River-Academy Police Chief Lee Dixon.

It took the jury two and a half hours to return with their verdict, which came down at 4 p.m. on Monday.

Jurors had to choose between finding Risner guilty of capital murder, guilty of murder, or not guilty at all.

In the end, he received the capital murder charge, because the jury decided that, at the time of the incident, Risner was aware that Chief Dixon was lawfully carrying out his duty as a police officer. Risner had previously stated otherwise.

After court, one of Risner's former neighbors, Martha Merath, said she wasn’t surprised by the news of his arrest.

“There's just something about him that was real scary,” Merath said. “It's just a relief to know that justice has been done and he's off the streets.”

Chief Dixon originally showed up to Risner's home on June 19, 2014, to serve him with a citation, following a road rage incident involving Risner and another motorist.

That driver claims that when he followed Risner home after the incident, he came into the driveway and pointed a shotgun in his face.

According to the state prosecutors, Risner refused to cooperate with the chief, and the situation eventually ended in an exchange of bullets. One of those bullets fatally struck Chief Dixon in the face.

Both the state and the defense gave heart-wrenching final arguments in this case, which included dashcam video and audio of the incident and body cam footage of the aftermath.

Sentencing hearings in the case start Tuesday at 9 a.m. Risner could face the death penalty.

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