At 4:32 a.m., May 27, John Dixon called 911 to report his roommate assaulted him.
Eleven minutes later, police had the alleged assailant in custody and Dixon was fighting for his life, a fight he would lose two days later.
Now, the roommate has been officially charged with the man’s death. Todd Michael Lane, 43, of 627 E. Fourth St., in Marysville, has been indicted by the Union County Grand Jury, charged with one count of murder, as well as one count each of felonious assault and tampering with evidence.
Union County Prosecutor David Phillips said Dixon and Lane “had been friends for a number of years.” Dixon, 45, owned the home where he and Lane lived.
The prosecutor said there were accounts that Lane and Dixon “had some disagreements throughout the day” before the alleged assault. Phillips said it is unclear what the disagreements were about, but none of them were physical.
During the evening, Lane and Dixon went to a local bar at separate times. Lane left early and went to bed. Dixon went home with several friends to listen to music after the bar closed.
Eventually a female friend went upstairs to Lane’s room and went to bed. Phillips said at about 4:15 a.m., Dixon went to Lane’s room.
“It was his house, but there is no indication why Mr. Dixon went to the room,” Phillips said. “Mr. Lane then began an altercation upstairs.”
The woman tried to separate the men, but ended up with what the prosecutor called, “a slight injury.” She then went downstairs to get the other friend at the home, hoping he could break-up the fight.
“He got in the middle and received some injuries, including a bite to the face and some hair being pulled from his head,” said Phillips, who confirmed Lane is the one alleged to have caused the injuries.
The prosecutor explained the fight ended and at 4:32 a.m., when Dixon called 911. The prosecutor explained that Dixon’s call was transferred to the Marysville Division of Police. Dixon said Lane assaulted him and that he was outside the home on the porch waiting for police. Phillips said that during the call, which lasted “several minutes” Dixon seems to be calm and not injured seriously.
“Unfortunately, the wrong address was given to police and they ended up a couple blocks away,” Phillips said, noting that Dixon said he lived in the 300 block of Fourth Street.
When police arrived at the address given by Dixon, they quickly determined it was not the right place. Phillips said the dispatcher was able to determine Dixon’s address, and less than a minute later, at 4:38 a.m., police arrived at the right home.
“When they went to the correct address, unfortunately they found Mr. Lane standing over Mr. Dixon on the porch,” Phillips said. “They pursued him and arrested him inside the home.”
The prosecutor said Lane, “had to be forcibly arrested by two officers,” and “there was resistance.”
Dixon was face down on the porch with a head injury
At 4:40 a.m., medics were called to the scene.
“The injuries were almost immediately life-threatening,” Phillips said.
Dixon apparently stopped breathing on the way to Memorial Hospital, Phillips said, but was revived and eventually taken to The Ohio State University Medical Center.
“At OSU, they determined he had suffered a brain death,” Phillips said.
He said Dixon was kept on life support until family members could come to the hospital. Dixon died May 29, at The Ohio State University Medical Center.
Lane was originally charged with felonious assault. He was arraigned and held in the Tri-County Jail with a bond set at $500,000.
Phillips said the murder charge carries a sentence of 15 years to life in prison.
“That is the only penalty that can be imposed,” Phillips said.
He said the felonious assault indictment is the result of injuries Lane allegedly caused to the second man. The prosecutor also said Lane washed some blood off himself after police told him not to, resulting in the tampering with evidence indictment.
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