A black glove caught on a barbed-wire fence and bullet holes in a Highland Avenue home were just pieces of the evidence examined in the aftermath of the July 7, 2019, fatal shooting of Hall County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Nicolas Blane Dixon.
Given all that she saw at the scene, Georgia Bureau of Investigation Special Agent Elaina Honea said she believed the suspect, Hector Garcia-Solis, 19, came around the back side of 43 Highland Ave., and Dixon was between 43 and 45 Highland Ave. when they encountered one another.
"Given the first .45 caliber casing being at the corner of 43 (Highland Ave.), the back corner of the residence, it would indicate that at least one shot was fired from the back of the residence,” Honea said. “And then, at some point Deputy Dixon got onto the front porch of 43 (Highland Ave.), where he unloaded his magazine in the general direction of 45 (Highland Ave.) with the subject in between the two residences."
The presentation of evidence continued into a fifth day Monday, June 28, in the murder trial for Garcia-Solis, London Clements, 18, and Eric Velazquez, 19.
A fourth man, Brayan Cruz, 19, had his case severed from the other three suspects but testified for the prosecution last week.
The GBI said Dixon was following four suspects in a stolen vehicle before the chase moved on foot.
Honea, a crime scene specialist, was called Monday to describe the scene she found on Highland Avenue and the surrounding streets.
On Myrtle Street by way of Auburn Avenue, the agent said there were tire marks in the grass, a mailbox knocked over and other debris in the roadway.
Honea testified that there was one bullet hole on the front of 43 Highland Ave. in the direction of 45 Highland Ave., and there were two holes on the side of 43 Highland Ave. going toward the front of the residence.
"It's consistent with somebody being in between the two residences, 43 and 45 Highland Avenue, and shooting ... towards the front of the house,” Honea said.
"OK. So hypothetically, if Hector Garcia-Solis had been originally located at that back corner of the house where we're looking at and was moving forward and shooting, is that consistent with one of those?" Assistant District Attorney Kelley Robertson asked and Honea agreed.
A black glove was also found on a fence in the area.
"During the processing of the crime scene, two of our agents located one of the subjects under the shed,” Honea said. “When they located them, they noted this glove on the fence and asked the crime scene specialist — me or (another agent) — to come take a look at it."
Cruz testified last week that he was hiding under a shed for hours, hearing the gunshots fired.
Honea agreed with Robertson's question about whether the fence was along the route where Sgt. Charles Hewell chased the suspects.
"Is it actually like sort of impaled on the barb wire?" Robertson asked
"It looks like it got caught on the top of the fence,” Honea said.
Garcia-Solis’ defense attorney Matt Cavedon questioned Honea on what she could infer about where the shots were fired, as Honea agreed that it appeared that the shooter moved in between firing.
"In order to change the angle that much, do you have any idea what kind of speed the shooter would have to be moving at while shooting?” Cavedon asked.
"No, that's not something I would be able to determine from a bullet hole," Honea said.
"OK. Could it be consistent with running along the side of the house and just continuing to shoot?
"No, it could be consistent with that or it could be consistent with walking. It could be someone standing here and they walk several feet up and then fire again from a different angle. You can't determine how fast those two bullet defects occurred based on their location on a wall."
The Dixon trial, day-by-day coverage
GBI firearms examiner Sarah Van Holm testified about her testing of the weapons that were seized and said the murder weapon, a Sig Sauer 1911 .45 caliber pistol, required an average trigger pull of 5.25 pounds.
Cavedon’s co-counsel, Rob McNeill, asked if there was any way to determine if the person was aiming high or low among other factors, and Van Holm said she did not have any information regarding these questions.
The court concluded for the day around 5:10 p.m. Monday, and Superior Court Judge Jason Deal asked for the jury to return at 9 a.m. Tuesday, June 29.