By Nicholas Johnson
A 39-year-old Renton man pleaded not guilty Tuesday to murder and assault charges stemming from a Sept. 19 triple shooting that left one man dead and two others injured at a Circle K gas station in Kent.
Joseph B. Dixon remains in custody at the King County Correctional Facility in Seattle following his Nov. 9 arraignment hearing, during which Superior Court Judge Karen Donohue denied Dixon bail as had been requested by Senior Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Brandy Gevers.
“He has a well-documented propensity for violence, including the repeated use of firearms and weapons to commit crimes, going back almost 20 years,” Gevers wrote in charging documents filed Sept. 29, citing Dixon’s 10 prior felony convictions.
Dixon, who is charged with first-degree murder, two counts of first-degree assault and unlawful possession of a firearm, has also been ordered to have no contact with two victims of the shooting as well as a witness, according to court records.
A pre-trial omnibus hearing is set for 1 p.m. Dec. 7, while Dixon’s trial is currently set for 8:30 a.m. Dec. 30. Dixon is being represented by defense attorneys Kell Brauer and Joseph Alvarado, according to court records.
SWAT officers shot Dixon in the lower back prior to arresting him Sept. 27 in a Safeway parking lot in Clearview, Washington. According to police, Dixon had rammed unmarked police vehicles with his own vehicle, which was carrying two passengers, including a 4-year-old.
A week earlier, Dixon is alleged to have shot and killed Devon Hill, 23, “without warning and without provocation” as he sat in the back seat of a Cadillac SUV at about 1:18 a.m. Sept. 19 at the Circle K gas station in the 1800 block of West Meeker Street.
Dixon also allegedly shot the SUV’s 36-year-old driver and the 23-year-old front-seat passenger, both of whom then ran from the car and collapsed before Dixon allegedly jumped into the SUV and drove off with Hill in the back seat, according to court documents.
At about 2:40 a.m., police located Hill’s body “lying face down in the gutter” along 38th Avenue South in the West Hill neighborhood. Shortly thereafter, police located the unoccupied SUV a few blocks north, according to court documents.
Days later at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle, the 36-year-old victim told a detective that Dixon was his friend and that “I don’t know why he did that,” according to court documents.
On the afternoon of Sept. 20, a witness told detectives that a white male who would later be identified as Dixon “had been bragging about robbing and shooting people and stealing their car” and was at a motel in Bellingham, according to court documents.
On Sept. 26, another witness who said they knew Dixon told detectives that Dixon had shown up at the motel on the afternoon of Sept. 19 and told the witness “that he needed to shower because he had blood and brains on his jeans,” according to court documents.
Dixon then laughed, the witness told detectives, and later told the witness “that he shot three black males in a gas station parking lot and he thought two of them were dead.”
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