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Death penalty defendant faces new charges

Allan Robert Dickie accused of jail misconduct

POSTED: February 14, 2009 12:03 a.m.

A Maryland man facing the possibility of the death penalty was charged with a new felony this week after allegedly roughing up a jail guard.

Allan Robert Dickie on Friday made an initial court appearance by videoconference from the Hall County jail, where he is being held on charges of kidnapping, rape and murder.

Dickie, 20, is accused of stabbing to death 37-year-old Claudia Toppin. The early morning murder in the parking lot of a Pearl Nix Parkway grocery store was allegedly recorded on surveillance video.

Since his jailing in August 2007, Dickie has been accused of several disruptive or destructive acts. He allegedly started a fire inside his cell in the old Hall County jail on Main Street, carved his nickname, “Chipmunk,” into pads lining a padded cell, tore bed sheets and cut holes in a mattress, according to authorities.

Dickie also infamously tattooed a four-letter profanity in inch-high block letters on his forehead.

On Thursday night, sheriff’s officials say, Dickie refused to consent to a contraband search of his jail cell.

Warrants allege that Dickie cursed at a detention officer, charged at him when he tried to put Dickie in handcuffs, and instigated a “scuffle” that left the officer with superficial injuries to his chin and an eye.

The guard used pepper spray on Dickie to subdue him. He later discovered Dickie had drawn a head with a tongue sticking out on the cell wall, according to warrants.

Dickie was charged with felony obstruction of an officer and interference with government property.

Hall County Sheriff’s Col. Jeff Strickland said inmate attacks on guards at the jail were “fairly rare.”

“Normally when we see violence in the jail, it’s inmate against inmate,” Strickland said.

In a brief court appearance by teleconference in front of Magistrate Judge Elizabeth Reisman Friday, Dickie requested a preliminary hearing, which was scheduled for later this month.

District Attorney Lee Darragh has previously presented evidence of Dickie’s alleged jail misconduct to argue for the use of restraints while he is in court. Superior Court Jason Deal ruled that Dickie would not wear handcuffs but would wear leg irons and a remote-activated “stun belt” around the midsection while in the courtroom.

The death penalty case against Dickie remains pending.



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