ASHEVILLE, N.C. (WHNS) — The family of a pregnant murder victim is speaking out after Nathaniel Dixon, the man convicted of killing her, is sentenced to life in prison without parole. The sentence was handed down Tuesday morning in Asheville.
Family members spoke in court about what a great mother the victim, Candace Pickens, was and how important it is to support her son who will always have to live with her murder. They also directed some pretty heated words to Nathaniel Dixon as he awaited his sentencing.
Dixon, who was 24 years old at the time, was arrested in May of 2016 after police found the body of 23 year old Pickens and her critically wounded three year old son, Zachaeus Waters, in Asheville’s Jones Park.
Dixon was charged with first degree murder, attempted first degree murder and malicious maiming and was found guilty on those charges on June 26th. He was also charged with murder of an unborn child and intentional child abuse inflicting serious bodily injury but was not convicted on those counts.
Just last week the District Attorney took the death penalty off the table.
After the sentencing Mekia Waters, the grandmother of Zachaeus told FOX Carolina, “I’m glad it’s over. I’m glad it’s over. Is he gonna regret it? No He’s a pig. He’s not even a man. What we do need to realize is, we lost Candace but he (Zachaeus) is still here. He’s still in need. He shouldn’t be living second hand because he didn’t die. He’s gotta go through more than everybody else has got to go through.”
Charlene Pickens, the step-mother of Candace Pickens said, “It’s hard. Our daughter is not coming back whether he’s guilty, not guilty, going to prison or death penalty. Zachaeus has still lost his mother so that’s pretty must the gist of it. This is not justice. It’s us re-living it all over again. The pain is still the same.”
FOX Carolina also heard from DIxon’s attorneys who said they were relieved when the death penalty came off the table because that’s what they’d been seeking. But they wished it hadn’t taken so long because they said the circus-like atmosphere of this trial could have been avoided.
On top of life in prison without parole for first degree murder, Dixon received an additional 207 months minimum to 261 months maximum for attempted murder and 96 to 128 months for felony maiming. Family members told FOX Carolina they’re glad to see Dixon spend life in prison but there’s no justice when Candace will never walk the east again. They say they’ll hold a press conference in the coming days to announce some kind of initiative they want to promote in honor of Candace.
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