Michael Dixon, 41, stands trial in Hocking County, Ohio, for the alleged murder of James T. Whitaker, 56. You can watch in the player above.
The jury was selected late Monday with opening statements expected Tuesday morning, 9 a.m. ET.
Authorities said the defendant used a gun in the act, according to The Logan Daily News. He allegedly fractured the skull on the dead body, “broke and/or cut” the bones, burned the remains, cleaned up the crime scene, somehow disposed of a flat-screen TV that was evidence, made up a fake suicide note in the voice of the victim, and committed evidence tampering in connection with two guns. Dixon also faced a charge of sexual battery in connection to alleged abuse of his adult daughter and co-defendant Melody Sue Dixon.
The daughter, who was 18 at the time of Whitaker’s death, is charged with participating in the cover-up.
Authorities said the victim was reported missing by his daughters last July. They said they had not heard from him since the 3rd of that month. The investigation turned up Dixon as a person of interest. He allegedly confessed to the murder and cover-up during the police interview. Detectives said they found human remains while executing a search warrant on Whitaker’s property on the 28th.
Hocking County prosecutor Ryan R. Black requested this year that a special prosecutor with the state’s attorney general’s office take over the case.
“I just felt, given the circumstances of an ongoing case of such complexity, that justice would best be served if the case was to be handled exclusively by the professionals at the attorney general’s office,” he wrote.
The case against Melody Sue Dixon is ongoing.
[Mugshots via Southeastern Ohio Regional Jail]
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