The California Supreme Court refused Wednesday to review the case of one of three people convicted of the 2001 murder of a Cal Poly Pomona student who was driven into the mountains above Azusa, where her throat was slit.
In September, a three-justice panel from California’s 2nd District Court of Appeal rejected Henry Arnold Singer’s contention that he should be re-sentenced as a result of a recent change in state law.
Singer and co-defendant Markeisha Nicole Dixon each pleaded guilty to first-degree murder in connection with Christina Burmeister’s slaying and are serving 25-year-to-life state prison sentences.
James Winslow Dixon Jr. — to whom Markeisha Dixon was married at the time of the crime — was sentenced in 2008 to death after being convicted of first-degree murder, with jurors finding true the special circumstance allegations of murder during the commission of a robbery and a kidnapping. He was also found guilty of raping two Cal Poly Pomona students in July 1996. His automatic appeal is still pending.
In its ruling last Sept. 30, the appellate court panel noted that Singer agreed to drive the truck in which Burmeister was bound and lying face-down in the back cab area of the vehicle, and that he subsequently left the 20-year-old Cerritos woman alone with James Dixon Jr., whom he knew had a handgun.
Singer was “a major participant in the crimes, and his behavior demonstrated a reckless disregard for the life of Ms. Burmeister,” according to the appellate court justices’ ruling.
The appeals court panel also turned down a request last September by Markeisha Dixon to be re-sentenced, with the California Supreme Court refusing to review her portion of the case last November.
The day before her body was found, Burmeister had stopped to buy cigarettes in Pomona before being kidnapped near a Holt Avenue fraternity house. The young woman — whose bank account had three ATM withdrawals totaling $400 within a 90-second span on the evening of Aug. 17, 2001 — was found dead the next day in the front passenger seat of her pickup truck on a gravel turnout on Highway 39 in Azusa Canyon.
DNA testing from a cigar butt on the floorboard beneath the driver’s seat of the truck subsequently matched James Dixon’s DNA, according to the appellate court panel’s ruling in Singer’s case.
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