Dixon charged with eavesdropping

Cala Smoldt/Staff Reporter

Angela Dixon, wife of convicted Viola bank robber, DeAngelo Dixon has been charged with Eavesdropping. The defendant was contacted by Deangelo D. Dixon from the Mercer County Jail. He asked her to record third party witnesses for his upcoming bank robbery trial. The defendant allegedly set up a phone and a speaker phone. Then Mr. Dixon had the defendant call the witness and tape the conversation after Mr. Dixon called Mrs. Dixon. She allegedly recorded these conversations without consent. This is a class 4 felony and carries 1-3 years prison, 3-6 years possible extended term, up to 2.5 years probation, and 1 year mandatory supervised release term.

On March 25, Mrs. Dixon's public defender, Nathan Nieman made a motion to dismiss the charges stating that the statue was ruled unconstitutional in Illinois Supreme Court. State's Attorney Greg McHugh asked for time to respond as the recently struck down statute was only Section 1 of the eavesdropping law and they will look into sections 2 and 3 of the same statute. The state believes this charge may fall under the still active section 2 or 3. McHugh said they may also file charges of witness intimidation against Mrs. Dixon.

On March 20, Illinois Supreme Court concluded that the section of the eavesdropping statute is unconstitutional, describing that it was too broad and could criminalize people who otherwise had not intended to engage in criminal activity. In the case of the decision Defendant Clark was indicted in Kane County on 2 counts of eavesdropping for allegedly recording conversation between himself and his attorney without her consent, and recording Judge Robert Janes, and Colleen Thomas while he was in court (without each parties consent). The ruling came after discussion of the public-ness of the conversations as it was, and recording those conversations, though unadvisable was not intended for criminal purposes.

They set a date of May 12 at 11 a.m. giving the state 14 days to file, and the defense 14 days to file a motion after that, totaling 21 days time.

The defendant, Mrs. Dixon asked the judge for a later court time as she is driving from Davenport, Iowa, and the current time interferes with her work schedule. The court obliged and moved the time to 2 p.m. the same day.

Eavesdropping without consent charges were also brought against her husband, Mr. Dixon but were dismissed per the state's motion.