Jury returns murder verdict against man accused of killing best friend

Posted: Thursday, March 16, 2000

FAIRBANKS (AP) -- A Fairbanks jury found a 26-year-old man guilty of murder this week in the stabbing death of his best friend.

Adam Hamilton, 26, was convicted Tuesday of first-degree murder in the Nov. 24 death of David Dixon of Fairbanks. Dixon was stabbed in the neck, chest and back at his home.

Hamilton was reportedly covered with blood when he was arrested shortly after the attack.

When Tuesday's verdict was announced, Hamilton showed no emotion but asked that the state return his wedding ring from the evidence locker.

Hamilton's sentencing is scheduled for July. He could be sentenced to up to 119 years in prison.

The jury did not deliberate on a second-degree murder charge, an alternate defense attorney William Satterberg beseeched them to consider.

Satterberg implored the jury in his closing arguments earlier in the day to either acquit his client or charge the man with second-degree murder instead of first-degree murder.

He told jurors that District Attorney Jeff O'Bryant had not made a first-degree murder case against Hamilton.

O'Bryant's case consists of such evidence as pieces of Hamilton's clothing smeared with the victim's blood.

Satterberg said that wasn't good enough and criticized the fact that the state could not say whether blood was smeared on the inside or outside of some of the garments.

A trooper testified seeing Hamilton's vehicle moving away from the area of Dixon's home shortly after the stabbing was reported.

O'Bryant described the 28 stab wounds as strategically aimed to kill.

''If it was someone's intent to hold someone off, would they stab him 28 times?'' he said. ''These aren't the types of wounds that are intended just to get someone's attention ... to get them to cease or stop.''

The victim's wife, Rebekah Dixon, told investigating troopers last year that she had awakened at about 2:30 a.m. and saw a man with his face covered stabbing her husband with what looked like a dagger. David Dixon died less than an hour later as a result of the stab wounds.

Satterberg had criticized the state for not indicating a possible motive in the murder.

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