WASHINGTON – Nijinsky Dix, 40, of South Bend, Indiana., was sentenced today to 18 years in prison for fatally shooting a man she was casually dating. In addition to the prison term, Superior Court Judge Marisa J. Demeo ordered five years of supervised release. The sentence was announced by U.S. Attorney Matthew M. Graves and Acting Chief Pamela Smith, of the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD).
Dix pleaded guilty, on February 13, 2023, to second degree murder while armed. According to the government’s evidence, at approximately 5:26 p.m. on November 14, 2020, officers with the MPD responded to the report of a woman with a gun and the sound of gunshots in a residential building in the 1000 block of 4th Street, S.W. Dix, a PhD student and an employee of the University of Notre Dame, was found holding a .9 mm handgun and kneeling at the feet of 44-year old Terry Hickman, who was lying face down on the floor. Hickman had been shot multiple times in the head and body and died.
An MPD Investigation determined that in late February 2020, Dix met Mr. Hickman in a bar near South Bend and the two began a casual pandemic relationship that lasted for several months. Mr. Hickman, who was recently divorced, did not want a long-term relationship with Dix. The defendant could not accept the boundaries. She insinuated herself into Mr. Hickman’s life, reaching out to members of his family for support and advice, offering money, trips, and jewelry to the victim and the victim’s daughter. Mr. Hickman tried to end the relationship in August of 2020, blocking Dix’s number on his phone and asking her not to contact him. Dix ‘s obsession with Mr. Hickman continued into the fall of 2020 and she became jealous of other women she believed had his interest. At one point, Dix told a family member that she had purchased a gun in Florida. On September 6, 2020, Dix flew to D.C. from Indiana and arrived unannounced at Mr. Hickman’s apartment. In the days leading up to Mr. Hickman’s death in November of 2020, there were text messages between the victim and a woman with whom he was trying to establish a business relationship. On November 12, 2020, Ms. Dix texted a friend and expressed anger that Mr. Hickman might be using her to have a relationship with the other woman, writing: “I will f**k him up if he tries to connect me with a broad he’s trying to f**k or has f**ked. I will kill him. Literally.” Two days later, on November 14, 2020, Dix departed South Bend, Indiana, carrying a passport. She checked an unloaded firearm and a box of .9 mm ammunition in her luggage. She landed in Washington, D.C., rented a car, drove to Mr. Hickman’s apartment, confronted him, and fatally shot him.
This case was investigated by the Criminal Investigation Division Homicide Branch of the Metropolitan Police Department. Assistance was provided by the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner. The case was handled by Assistant U.S. Attorney John Interrante, who investigated and prosecuted the case.