Valentino Dixon is a free man today after a wrongful conviction and serving over two decades in prison and it’s partially in thanks to Golf Digest magazine.
CBS News reports that a judge set aside Dixon’s conviction on Wednesday for the 1991 shooting of a 17-year-old young man after another man claimed responsibility. Lamarr Scott, the man who will now serve time for the murder confessed two days after the incident occurred in 1991 but Dixon was convicted anyway.
“There was a fight. Shots were fired. I grabbed the gun from under the bench, switched it to automatic, all the bullets shot out. Unfortunately, Torriano ended up dying,” Lamarr Scott, who has been in prison for 25 years for an unrelated attempted murder, told the court. “I dropped the gun and ran and it was over and done with.”
Scott said he had gotten the gun, a Tec-9 semi-automatic, from Dixon and the two men had driven together to the crowded corner where the fighting broke out. Scott was given a sentence of 8 1/3 to 25 years in prison, concurrent with his current term.
How did Golf Digest become involved? During his prison term, hundreds of Dixon’s vivid pictures of golf courses somehow made it to the powers that be at the magazine. As a result, Golf Digest and other publications took interest in his case culminating with a documentary produced by students at Georgetown University as part of a prison reform course last spring.
Dixon said he was ready for a meal at Red Lobster and vowing to fight on behalf of others who are wrongly convicted. “I love y’all,” heshouted after trading the green prison uniform he wore in court for jeans and a T-shirt. “It feels great.”
To see Valentino Dixon leave the courthouse as a free man, and samples of his drawings, for the first time in two decades, flip the page.