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Former police clerk gets 18 months, wants to get on with her life
PORT ORCHARD — Former Poulsbo Police clerk Amanda Dixon said at her sentencing hearing she was sorry for the crimes she was accused of and wanted to get on with her life, according to her attorney, Ron Ness.
Dixon will be able to start a new life in 2014, after serving 18 months in prison, and she will soon be a mother.
Dixon agreed to enter an Alford plea to charges of attempted theft of a firearm, theft of a firearm and communication with a minor for immoral purposes, in Kitsap County Superior Court Nov. 15.
Dixon, 24, formerly of Kingston, accepted the prosecutor’s offer of the Alford plea, which allows a defendant to concede a jury would likely convict, with the result being a longer sentence. With an Alford plea, a defendant does not admit guilt.
Dixon is also prohibited from owning a firearm for life, though she can someday petition the court for restoration of that right.
Coreen Schnepf, senior deputy prosecuting attorney in Dixon’s case, said Dixon’s bail was revoked after she was arrested in Kirkland Nov. 2 for possession of a firearm and knowingly trafficking in stolen property. According to the report, Dixon said the gun was her boyfriend’s and she told him she couldn’t be around guns because of her pending trial. The weapon was found in the trunk of the car Dixon was driving.
Her boyfriend, Dominick Catalano, was also taken into custody Nov. 2. Schnepf said Dixon accepted the plea agreement soon after she was taken into custody.
Dixon is currently in custody at the Washington Corrections Center for Women in Purdy, where she is being reviewed to determine her security level.
The center offers many inmate programs for education and work release, as well as prenatal care for expectant mothers. Melissa Johnson, public information officer, said pregnant inmates are screened to be eligible for the program, based on type of offense, behavior and the sentence in prison, among other factors. The program offers time between the mother and child so they continue to bond.
Dixon’s attorney, Ron Ness, said he believes “there is no question” that she wants to change her life.
Dixon was a Viking Fest princess in 2007. As a teen, she was involved in FFA, teen mentoring and on the committee for the Great Strides Cystic Fibrosis Walk. She graduated from North Kitsap High School in 2008 and went to work for the police department shortly after.
She was first arrested in July 2011, accused of stealing firearms from the police evidence locker, two months after she left the department stemming from a separate, internal investigation. Dixon’s father found a Bryco Arms .380 caliber, semi-automatic handgun among his daughter’s possessions when she was moving from his home, and turned it into police.
Dixon was arrested again in October 2011 for theft of a second firearm, a Rino Galesi .22 caliber, semi-automatic handgun. The gun was found in her truck, being driven by her then-boyfriend, Jacob Bryant, who was pulled over for a collision investigation. Bryant, a convicted felon, was charged with unlawful possession of a firearm. He pleaded no contest to firearm possession by a felon and sentenced to three months in jail. Dixon was arrested at Bryant’s hearing.
Both guns had been in Poulsbo Police evidence, and Dixon signed documents that she witnessed both of the guns’ destruction.
Schnepf said there is no evidence the gun Dixon was arrested for possessing in Kirkland is connected to the Poulsbo Police evidence locker.
Dixon was charged again in May 2012 with third-degree child molestation, following a Poulsbo police interview with a 15-year-old boy. The boy said he had a relationship with Dixon but thought she was 16.
In a later interview with a Kitsap County Sheriff’s deputy, the boy said he knew her true age when he asked his family not to report her to the police because of their relationship.
According to charging documents, the 15-year-old said he and Dixon met through his uncle and allegedly would “mostly drive around, drink alcohol and smoke weed.” The boy told officers Dixon was aware of his age when they met. In later interviews with family members, Dixon allegedly told her cousin that he was 20.
Dixon initially pleaded not guilty to all charges. Her theft trial had been postponed several times before the Nov. 15 court date.