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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Southern District of Indiana

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Inmate Convicted Of Murder At Terre Haute Federal Correctional Facility

U.S. Attorney’s Office successfully prosecutes two inmates for their role in the murder of fellow inmate

TERRE HAUTE – Joseph H. Hogsett, United States Attorney, announced today the conviction of two men for their roles in the death of an inmate at the Terre Haute Federal Correctional Institute. William J. Bell, 38, was convicted of one count of first degree murder and Lenard Dixon, 35, was convicted of one count of accessory after the fact, following a three-day jury trial before U.S. District Judge Jane Magnus-Stinson.

“Protecting all citizens from senseless violence is important. We owe it to the employees of our federal prisons to do what we can to keep their work places as safe and secure as possible,” said Hogsett.

According to evidence presented at trial, Bell entered the cell of a fellow inmate on June 18, 2011 and stabbed him to death. Bell’s cellmate, Dixon, concealed evidence of the crime, including the murder weapon.

Both Bell and Dixon had extensive criminal histories. Bell had nine prior convictions accumulated across Illinois, Arkansas, and Kansas. At the time of the murder, he was serving a nearly 8-year sentence for carjacking. Dixon had several convictions in Kansas and, at the time of the murder, was serving a 35-year sentence for robbery.

“A goal of our office is to prosecute those who have already been acquainted with the American justice system and still do not obey the law,” said Hogsett. “One person’s refusal to obey the law should not result in the end of another person’s life.”

According to Assistant United States Attorneys Matthew Brookman and Will McCoskey, who prosecuted the case for the government, Bell faces up to life in prison and Dixon faces up to 15 years, in addition to the time he is already serving.

Updated January 26, 2015