The man who has accused Indianapolis Colts wide receiver Marvin Harrison of shooting him last April outside a North Philadelphia garage - but who refused to identify the shooter when questioned by police - was convicted this afternoon by a Philadelphia judge on a misdemeanor charge of making a false report to police.
Dwight Dixon was convicted by Municipal Court Judge Karen Yvette Simmons after a 2 1/2-hour trial and immediately sentenced to six months of probation.
The judge acquitted Dixon, 33, of two counts involving additional false statements Dixon made to police on April 30.
The judge said that by the time of the latter two statements, detectives already suspected Dixon was no longer just a shooting victim but a participant in a shootout the day before outside a garage owned by Harrison at 25th and Thompson Streets.
Because Dixon had not been told of his constitutional right to not incriminate himself, and was already represented by a lawyer who advised him not to speak with police, Simmons would not allow the two statements to be used against him.
Despite the verdict and sentence, the imposing, heavyset Dixon and the courtroom were stunned when deputy sheriffs clapped handcuffs on him and moved to take him into custody.
Dixon's conviction apparently activated a state parole detainer because it would have been a violation of his probation in an unrelated case.
It was only after defense attorney Robert M. Gamburg said Dixon would appeal and seek a new trial in Common Pleas Court that Simmons stayed her sentence and Dixon walked out of court.
On Jan. 6, Philadelphia District Attorney Lynne Abraham she was shelving an investigation of the April 29 incident because Dixon, Harrison and several other witnesses had given multiple, contradictory accounts of the shootout.
Although he initially told police he was the victim of a holdup by street toughs in West Philadelphia, Dixon ultimately sued Harrison, contending that the football star had shot him, wounding him in the hand.
Harrison has denied involvement in the incident, though Abraham has said shell casings found at the sceme came from his gun, which he said was at his home at the time of the incident.