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Justice News

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

Monday, October 27, 2014

Two Inmates Sentenced In Murder Case At Terre Haute Federal Correctional Facility

Pair sentenced for their roles in murdering a fellow inmate

TERRE HAUTE – Acting United States Attorney Josh J. Minkler announced today the sentencing of two men for their roles in the murder of an inmate at the Terre Haute Federal Correctional Institute. U.S. District Judge Jane Magnus-Stinson sentenced William J. Bell, 39, to life without parole for first degree murder and Lenard Dixon, 35, was sentenced to 156 months (13 years) for one count of accessory after the fact.

“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 Minkler.

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.

“Even those who reside in our prison system deserve a safe living environment,” said Minkler. “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 Will McCoskey and Matthew Brookman who prosecuted the case for the government, Dixon’s sentence will be served consecutive to his current sentence.

Updated January 26, 2015