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Published: Monday, 10/21/2013 - Updated: 11 months ago

Trial opens for suspect in fatal shooting in Fostoria

Prosecutor cites broken relationship for slaying

BY JENNIFER FEEHAN
BLADE STAFF WRITER

TIFFIN — Lisa Stowers and her two daughters had gone to see an elderly family member who was dying for one last visit in July when instead Ms. Stowers lost her life.

The Springfield, Ohio, woman, 50, was shot to death as she sat in a car outside a home in the 200 block of Bannister Street in Fostoria on July 28. Her daughter, Tyeesha Ferguson, 36, also was shot but survived.

During opening statements Monday in the aggravated murder trial of Calvin Dixson, Seneca County Prosecutor Derek DeVine laid out the scenario leading up to the Sunday afternoon violence.

“Tyeesha had been in a relationship previously with the defendant, Mr. Dixson. That relationship ended,” Mr. DeVine said. “Mr. Dixson was not pleased that Ms. Ferguson was not responding and doing what he wanted.”

Mr. Dixson, 37, who had previous addresses in Toledo and Perrysburg, is charged with aggravated murder and attempted aggravated murder for the shootings.

Mr. DeVine said Mr. Dixson had told Ms. Ferguson he was coming to Fostoria in a series of text messages that the jury would see during the course of this week’s trial in Seneca County Common Pleas Court. He said they also would hear directly from Ms. Ferguson as well Ms. Stowers’ other daughter, Danielle Stowers, who had jumped out of the car when she saw Mr. Dixson approaching.

“Mr. Dixson approached the car. There was some statements made … and Mrs. Stowers was shot through the window six times. She was killed,” Mr. DeVine said. “Mr. Dixson then drew his point of attention to the backseat, and he shot Tyeesha numerous times.”

Prosecutors plan to present video from a Gander Mountain store where Mr. Dixson allegedly purchased bullets just two days earlier that match the bullets used in the shooting.

Among those who took the stand Monday was Robin Palmer, who told the jury she saw a black man walking toward her neighbor’s house. She assumed he was coming to see “Grandma Ferguson,” as everyone called her neighbor who had cancer and was under hospice care.

She said he walked up to Ms. Ferguson’s car and was hidden for a time by some nearby trash cans. She then heard what sounded like “a brick of firecrackers” going off, and she thought at first that he had tried to startle the women in the car by setting off firecrackers in a trash can.

“I did not see him shoot her, but it sounded like a brick of firecrackers — poom, poom, poom, poom,” Ms. Palmer said, adding that she then saw the man walk away as calmly as he had approached.

She said she did not at first recognize Mr. Dixson, who she knew because he had lived in various houses near hers on and off over the previous few years, but she identified him in court as the man she saw that day.

Defense attorney Dean Henry did not make an opening statement, but was granted the right to reserve his opening statement for later in the trial, which was to resume today.

Contact Jennifer Feehan at: jfeehan@theblade.com or 419-213-2134.



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