Arizona to Execute Murderer

Murderer Clarence Dixon is scheduled to be executed today in Arizona for the brutal killing of Deana Bawdion, a 21-year-old Arizona State University co-ed.  The New York Post reports that, absent a last-minute stay, Dixon will be the first Arizona murderer put to death in almost eight years.   A 2019 Ninth Circuit opinion upholding Dixon’s conviction and sentence indicated that he was living across the street from Bawdion on January 6, 1978 , when she returned from a local bar at 12.30 AM.  At about 2:00 AM her boyfriend discovered her partially nude body on her bed.  She had been stabbed several times and strangled with a belt.  An autopsy revealed semen in her that could not be matched to any suspect at that time.  In June of 1985 Dixon was convicted of aggravated assault, kidnapping, sexual abuse, and four counts of sexual assault of a Northern Arizona University student.  He received a sentence of life in prison for those crimes.  In 2001 a cold-case detective ran the DNA from the Bawdion murder through the FBI database and found a match to Dixon.  After seven years of pre-trial maneuvers Dixon was finally tried and sentenced on January 15, 2008.  It was noted at sentencing that the day before Deana Bawdion’s body was discovered, Dixon was released from custody after a court found him not guilty by reason of insanity for attacking a teen-aged girl with a metal pipe.  His attorneys have unsuccessfully claimed he was mentally incompetent in the trials and appeals of the NAU co-ed rape and assault case and the Bawdion murder case.  In last-minute appeals, they are still making that claim.  UPDATE:  Dixon was executed at 10:51 AM today.

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