Clinton man charged with felony in connection with Coal Creek shooting

Local News

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTWO/WAWV) — Police arrested a suspect Wednesday in connection with an August 2020 Vigo County shooting that left one man dead and another wounded.

Ryan Scott Dixon, a 35-year-old man from Clinton, is currently facing charges of criminal confinement and criminal mischief for his involvement with the shooting. Neither of the charges; however, are for the shooting death of West Terre Haute’s David Robinson, 55, or injury of Jeremy Robinson, David’s 28-year-old son, a probable cause affidavit filed Friday confirmed.

The charges against Dixon will be the only criminal charges filed in this case, special prosecuting attorney David Thomas said Thursday. Thomas was appointed on Feb. 26 to the Vigo County Sheriff’s Department’s investigation into the incident involving Dixon, the Robinsons and Dennis Joseph on Aug. 2.

Joseph, a Clinton resident, was the man who shot both David and Jeremy Robinson; however, he is not being charged in the shooting due to self defense, the affidavit said.

“The burden of proof to disprove self-defense is always on the State,” detective John Newman wrote. “Self-defense is relevant.”

According to police investigations, Joseph and his friends were riding off-road vehicles near US Highway 150 and Pennington Road when Jeremy Robinson heard them from he and his father David’s home and became upset, thinking it was too late to be driving the small hills and that the group was causing damage to his grass.

Jeremy, in his own off-road vehicle, approached the group and realized he knew some of them and that they were indeed not on the Robinson property. However, Jeremy soon got into a heated argument with the people in the group he did not know and most of them drove away, the affidavit said.

During the argument, Jeremy’s friend Ryan Dixon also drove down the hill and joined the group. As Joseph was fleeing, Dixon claims his vehicle was hit by Jeremy’s Jeep.

Dixon told officers he wanted to talk to Joseph and so he began chasing after him until Joseph’s Jeep came to a dead-end at Coal Creek. Dixon allegedly parked so that Joseph could not move his vehicle, asked Joseph why he was running away and then slashed Joseph’s tires with a knife.

Joseph told officers he rolled up his windows but then either Dixon, Jeremy or both began smashing his windows in. Either both or one of Dixon and Jeremy then allegedly punched Joseph, who remained in the Jeep, in the face.

After being punched, Joseph reportedly pulled out his handgun and shot Jeremy in the arm. David Robinson, who had been called by Jeremy during the pursuit, approached the Jeep soon after Joseph shot Jeremy.

Police said David then pulled out his own handgun and pointed it at Joseph. Fearing for his safety, Joseph then shot and killed David. Joseph allegedly called 911 immediately after shooting David and waited in his Jeep until officers arrived.

“We recognize the gravity of the tragedy in that David Robinson was shot and killed and that Joseph, the shooter, is not being charged,” the affidavit read.

The affidavit explained Dixon should have used his cell phone during the pursuit to call law enforcement to report a crime, and that he is facing criminal charges for both escalating a situation he was not initially involved in and for intimidating and confining Joseph. Officers also explained that Jeremy, who they say contributed to the confinement in a lesser way than Dixon, will not be charged because he has already “suffered enough with his gunshot wound and the loss of his father.”

According to police, during investigation interviews Dixon admitted to slashing Joseph’s tires and saying “now let’s see where you gonna go” after smashing in his windows. According to Jeremy’s testimony, Joseph looked “scared to death” after his father pulled a gun on Joseph.

Dixon is currently facing one charge of criminal confinement while armed with a deadly weapon, a Level 3 Felony, for cornering Joseph with a knife. He is also facing one charge of criminal mischief, a Class B misdemeanor.

An arrest warrant for Dixon was issued Tuesday through Vigo Superior Court 1 and he was taken into the Vigo County Jail on Wednesday. His bond was set at $50,000 with no 10% allowed and he was released Thursday afternoon.

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