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Suspect pleads not guilty in Deputy Dixon case, others waive arraignment
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London Clements enters Hall County Superior Court Tuesday, Oct. 15, 2019, for his arraignment hearing. Clements is charged in the murder of Hall County Sheriff's Office Deputy Nicolas Blane Dixon in July 2019. - photo by Scott Rogers

Only one of the four suspects charged with murder in the July 8 death of Hall County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Nicolas Blane Dixon appeared in court Tuesday morning for a formal arraignment.

London Clements, 17, appeared with his attorney Dan Sammons before Superior Court Judge Jason Deal. Sammons entered a not guilty plea on his client’s behalf.

The other three co-defendants — Hector Garcia-Solis, Brayan Omar Cruz and Eric Edgardo Velazquez — waived arraignment and filed not guilty pleas, according to the Hall County District Attorney’s Office.

The four teenagers were indicted by a Hall County grand jury Monday, Aug. 19.

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From left, Hector Garcia-Solis, London Clements, Brayan Omar Cruz and Eric Edgardo Velazquez.

The charges in the indictment pertaining to all four men include malice murder, felony murder, aggravated assault on a peace officer and conspiracy to commit robbery and burglary.

The last charge alleges the four men “did meet at a specific location and travel together in a stolen vehicle and possess stolen firearms” while wearing masks, gloves, bandannas and other clothing “to conceal their identities.”

The incident that led to Dixon’s death began when officers attempted to pull over a car July 7 suspected to have been used in several home and vehicle burglaries over the weekend, including the theft of a "large number of firearms," Sheriff Gerald Couch said July 8. The car fled, crashed, and its occupants fled on foot and were pursued by deputies along Jesse Jewell Parkway in Gainesville.

The malice murder charge alleges the four men “did unlawfully as parties … cause the death of Deputy Nicolas Blane Dixon,” and Garcia-Solis is listed as the alleged shooter.

Five other teenagers were charged in the weeks after Dixon’s death with tampering with evidence and hindering the apprehension of a criminal.

Northeastern Judicial Circuit District Attorney Lee Darragh said there was no movement on the tampering with evidence case Tuesday, Oct. 15.


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