Judge Denies Request to Dismiss Murder Case, Schedules Felony Arraignment

A DC Superior Court judge denied a request to dismiss a murder case during a hearing that took place on the same day prosecutors filed an indictment against the defendant.

Nijinsky Dix, 38, is accused of shooting 44-year-old Terry Hickman to death in an apartment near the Southwest Waterfront on the evening of Nov. 14, 2020. Police believe the homicide was domestic in nature.

During the most recent hearing for this case on March 16, the prosecutor informed Judge Marisa Demeo that they have delivered all evidence to the defense via a USB drive. Dix and Hickman’s cell phone, police reports and photos were included on the drive. 

Defense attorney Brandi Harden said all she got was a thumb drive that doesn’t work.

“The prosecution has provided basic evidence,” she said. “Nothing of substance, just crime scene photos and an autopsy report. I do not disagree that a thumb drive was given. But we are not in a better position. On that note, I will be asking for a dismissal of the case and that my client be released.”

After the prosecutor showed Harden how to work the drive, parties transitioned to discussing plea negotiations. The prosector extended a plea offer for second-degree murder but the defense wants the charge reduced to voluntary manslaughter instead. 

The prosecutor has not taken their plea offer off the table. He said he would like to speak with the victim’s family about the plea before making a final decision. 

The formal indictment in this case, which includes charges of first-degree murder while armed and possessing a firearm during a crime of violence, was returned on the same day parties met in court.

“By the indictment coming today, the plea offer would be post-indictment. It has been prejudiced all around,” Harden said. “I received discovery 16 months later and my client has not  had a chance to accept or decline a pre-indictment plea offer.” 

Harden asked for the case to be dismissed entirely because of this. She filed a motion to dismiss the case or, in the alternative, release her client on March 10.

Judge Demeo denied the request. She said the prejudice against the defendant is speculative because there is no benefit of a sentence when you accept a plea offer pre or post-indictment. 

Dix is scheduled to be arraigned on the indictment charges on March 30.

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