(Juneau) A Fox Lake murder suspect was in court Friday afternoon. Judge Brian Pfitzinger ruled on several motions in the upcoming trail of Laverne Ware Jr. The 38-year-old is charged with felony homicide in the death of Sesalie Dixon, his girlfriend and first cousin. He appeared in court alongside his attorney’s Aneeq Ahmad and Anjali Sharma; Sharma is replacing Jennifer Severino who withdrew from the case for medical reasons.
A defense motion was granted that will allow evidence at trial suggesting Ware’s mother, Marjorie Jones, had the opportunity and motive to murder Dixon. Jones was sentenced in March to six years in prison for helping her son conceal the killing.
Three motives offered by the defense suggest Jones’ involvement. The first alleges that Jones had reason to be upset with Dixon as the 27-year-old victim is now being accused of having been involved in a romantic affair with Jones’ 59-year-old boyfriend, Vernon Mickey. The second motive is that Jones was concerned that Dixon was dating her son for his wealth; Jones reportedly made verbal threats towards Dixon about the matter. Lastly, Jones believed Dixon stole prescription opioid pills from her, along with roughly $200 in cash.
Judge Brian Pfitzinger Friday also ruled against a motion to suppress findings from, what the defense believes to be, an unlawful search of the property where Dixon’s body was found. Ware’s attorneys maintain that the search should have never been conducted since authorities never obtained a warrant. Pfitzinger ruled that the search was done properly under what is called the “Community Caretaker Provision.” Authorities were able to enter the property without a warrant because they believed an individual on the premises was in need of medical assistance. In his ruling, Judge Pfitzinger made note of statements made by Mickey, who apparently had noticed a blood-like substance coming from a vehicle inside the garage where Dixon’s body was found almost two years ago with a gunshot wound to the head.
Another motion hearing is scheduled on November 21. Ware has a two-week jury trial set to begin on March 4.