A Scott County judge on Friday found a Davenport man guilty for a robbery and shooting that left Brady Tumlinson dead and his girlfriend seriously injured in their home in September 2017.
District Court Judge Henry Latham found Christopher Dixon, 36, guilty of first-degree murder, first-degree robbery and conspiracy to commit a forcible felony.
Dixon faces a mandatory sentence of life in prison without parole plus up to 35 years in prison when he is sentenced Nov. 27.
He is the last of five men who have either been tried or pleaded guilty in connection with the death of Tumlinson, 20.
“We are feeling very grateful for the verdict,” First Assistant Scott County Attorney Amy DeVine said. “While we felt very confident with the evidence of the defendant's guilt, you just can't ever know for sure what a judge or jury will decide. It definitely was a huge relief for Brady's family and Jacey (Grubbs) and her family as well that all five people responsible were held accountable for their actions."
The case also was tried by Assistant Scott County Attorney Caleb Copley.
Joel Walker, one of Dixon’s attorneys, said “we are definitely planning to appeal” after Dixon is sentenced.
Dixon also was represented by Russ Dircks.
Dixon waived his right to a jury trial and opted instead to have his case decided by the judge. His trial began Aug. 26 and wrapped up Aug. 29.
Prosecutors say Dixon, Tristin Alderman, 23, D'marithe Culbreath, 22, Nakita Wiseman, 23, and Darell Williams, 20, conspired to rob Tumlinson of drugs and money in the early morning hours of Sept. 22, 2017, at his South Nevada Avenue home.
Tumlinson and Grubbs were asleep in their bedroom when they were shot multiple times. Tumlinson fired back in self-defense, hitting one of the intruders.
Grubbs suffered life-threatening injuries but survived. Tumlinson was pronounced dead at the scene.
Culbreath was later treated for a gunshot wound to the head.
Prosecutor say Alderman was the mastermind behind the attempted robbery and recruited Wiseman and Dixon. Dixon then recruited Williams, his stepson, and Culbreath.
Video surveillance in the area showed two cars passing by Tumlinson’s home, and cell tower evidence indicated the men were in the general area when the video was taken, Latham said as he delivered his verdict.
According to trial testimony, the men parked the cars a few blocks away and walked towards Tumlinson’s home.
Latham said although the evidence is not clear where Dixon was when the actual robbery occurred, it is clear that he was with the four others who were running from the direction of Tumlinson’s home.
After the robbery, there were phone calls and text messages between the men that “overwhelmingly supports the fact the defendant was present when the incident occurred,” Latham said.
Latham said Dixon’s statements to police that he was just a drug dealer and not involved in any homicide were not credible. The judge pointed to the testimony of a Davenport police officer who said the text messages and recorded activity of Dixon that day was not typical of a drug transaction.
“The only reasonable conclusion which can be drawn from the evidence is the defendant was with Alderman at and prior to this home invasion that resulted in Brady Tumlinson’s death,” Latham said. “Additionally, the defendant was communicating with Williams and Culbreath to involve them and he accompanied them to Brady Tumlinson’s home to carry out the plan.”
Alderman and Culbreath were convicted in December and are serving life in prison. Wiseman pleaded guilty to first-degree burglary and second-degree robbery and was sentenced in December to up to 35 years in prison.
Williams pleaded guilty earlier this year to first-degree burglary and was sentenced in September to up to 25 years in prison.