Tuesday, February 25, 2003

Hit-run driver gets jail

Judge heeds relatives of minister who died

By Sharon Turco
The Cincinnati Enquirer

Four relatives of the Rev. James Dixon pleaded Monday with a Hamilton County judge to send to jail the man who killed Dixon in a hit-and-run accident. After listening to their heartfelt messages, the judge agreed.

"It's still hard to deal with the fact that my father is not here," Donna Dixon, the victim's daughter, told Judge Mark R. Schweikert during Monday's sentencing. "I still pick up the phone constantly to ask his advice about something.

"For him to have to go like this," she added. "Hit up in the air, then down on the cold slab of sidewalk.

"You don't call, you don't even stop," she said of Rickey Carter, the Fairfax man who hit her father Nov. 11 on Madison Road. Then her voice trailed off.

Donna Dixon, two sisters and a niece told Schweikert that a slap on the wrist wouldn't be enough. "He has to be held responsible," Donna Dixon said.

Schweikert sentenced Carter, 36, to six months in jail and another three years on community control for failing to stop after hitting Dixon. Schweikert could have imposed a sentence of up to a year in prison.

The judge also promised Carter he would lose his license, but that portion of the sentencing was postponed until later this week.

Carter hit Dixon, 84, an Alzheimer's patient, after Dixon stepped out into traffic on Madison Road.

After first declining to make a statement, Carter apologized to the Dixon family at Schweikert's prodding.

"My heart goes out to the family," he said. "I didn't mean to do it; it was an accident. He ran into the street, and I panicked.

"I hit him, and I was scared," Carter added. "I didn't mean to kill their father."

E-mail sturco@enquirer.com

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