Dickson Found Guilty, Sentenced to 50 Years

June 25, 2013

By MJ Kneiser, WLHR Radio, Lavonia


A verdict in the trial of a Canon man accused in the fatal wreck last year that killed two people and injured a third.

On Thursday, a Franklin County jury found James Thomas “Tommy” Dickson guilty of four counts of homicide by vehicle in the first degree, two counts of serious injury by vehicle, possession of Schedule IV controlled substances, driving under the influence of controlled substances, and several misdemeanor DUI charges.

In handing down the sentence, Superior Court Judge Michael Hancock cited verses from the Bible including the story of Jesus on the cross with the two thieves on either side of him.

He said Jesus could have freed the repentant thief from his cross, but he didn’t because the thief, though forgiven, was still accountable to the laws of the society he lived in.

The Judge then sentenced Dickson to a total of 50 years in prison.

Afterwards, District Attorney Parks White said he was pleased with the verdict and the sentence.

“I’m very happy,” Parks said. “I appreciate the hard work of the Georgia State Patrol, the work of the GBI, the work of the Franklin County’s Sheriff’s office and the Canon Police Department. And I appreciate the work of the judge and jury in this case in finding the right result and ultimately holding Mr. Dickson accountable for his actions.”

Defense attorney Charles Desiderio told the jury in his closing argument there was no evidence presented that proved Dickson veered into the northbound lane and he implied that Powell and Hart may have been responsible for the accident because they were not wearing seatbelts.

After the verdict and sentence was handed down, Desiderio said he wasn’t surprised.

“We did the best we could. We both did our best and it didn’t look from the beginning and I told my client that,” Desiderio said. “To be honest I believe my client. I don’t believe he caused the accident. I believe what he told me.”

Dickson has 30 days to file a motion to appeal his sentence.