Alabama parole board denies parole for Chevis Finley at urging of Miss. Rep. Deborah Dixon

Mississippi Rep. Deborah Dixon
Mississippi Rep. Deborah Dixon
Mississippi Rep. Deborah Dixon

MONTGOMERY, Alabama (AP) — Alabama’s parole board refused an early release Tuesday for a former Brighton police officer convicted in the shooting death of the son of a Mississippi legislator in 2009.

The three-member board reached the decision Tuesday after hearing from the victim’s mother, Mississippi state Rep. Deborah Butler Dixon of Jackson. She said neither her son nor her family had received justice in Alabama.

“The state of Alabama has robbed us,” the Democratic legislator told the board.

Her 27-year-old son, Broderick Dixon, was fatally shot at an apartment complex in the Birmingham suburb of Irondale on May 22, 2009. Chevis Finley, a Brighton police officer who was off duty when the shooting occurred, was convicted of manslaughter and sentenced to 15 years in prison.

Both men knew a woman who lived at the apartment complex and Finley confronted Dixon at the apartment complex at 3 a.m. that day, authorities had said. Dixon told the board that her unarmed son, a computer systems engineer for CMC Steel Alabama in Birmingham, was chased for more than 800 yards and shot several times.

“We had to do our own investigation to get justice. Alabama covered this crime up because he was a police officer,” she said in an interview.

Broderick Dixon
Broderick Dixon

Dixon said her son’s killing prompted her to run for the Mississippi Legislature because she wanted to speak out for crime victims. “I don’t think a person should ever be paroled at any time,” she told the board.

She drew support from the Alabama attorney general and the speaker of the Mississippi House, who sent representatives to the parole board meeting.

Finley’s family members urged the board to give him an early release, saying he had a job and a home waiting on him in the Birmingham area.

Parole board members told Dixon that despite their decision to deny parole, Finley could get out of prison based on credit for good behavior as early as Aug. 29, 2015. Parole board member Robert Longshore told Dixon that he’s astonished that Alabama law permits “good time” credit in manslaughter cases, but the parole board has no control over that.

“We’ve done the best we can do under the law,” board member Cliff Walker told her.

Dixon said she and her husband will keep working to try to get Finley to serve longer. “This is a horrible thing that no mother and father should have to go through,” she said.