Final FPU student-athlete sentenced in campus assault case

Trent Dixon was on basketball team when he robbed other students

  • Trent Dixon, a former Franklin Pierce University basketball player, pleaded guilty Monday to charges of simple assault and criminal trespassing. Dixon and two other men entered an FPU dorm room in February and attempted to steal from the room while two other FPU students were in the room. Oct. 1, 2018 Staff photo by Nicholas Handy—

Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Monday, October 01, 2018 4:30PM

Another former Franklin Pierce University student-athlete has been sentenced for his role in an attempted on campus robbery/assault that took place in February.

Trent Dixon, 19, who resides in Virginia with his parents, pleaded guilty to misdemeanor-level charges of simple assault and criminal trespassing on Monday at the Cheshire County Superior Court in Keene.

He was sentenced to 60 days in jail with a three day pretrial confinement credit on the simple assault charge. He was also sentenced to a consecutive 360 day jail sentence – all deferred for two years.

“There is a phenomenon I see with people in college, where they think that they live in a bubble and what they do in college doesn’t spill over to the real world,” Judge David W. Ruoff said Monday. “You got a hard lesson in the fact that that’s not true, that even though these guys were in a dorm room and you were just going to try to get some money or weed or whatever from them – it wound up causing a lot of problems for you and a lot of problems for your mom and dad.”

Felony-level charges of burglary and robbery were dropped as a part of the Dixon’s plea deal. 

Dixon, along with former FPU student Devonte McCall, 20, of Belchertown, Massachusetts, and Omaru Kante, 21, of Manchester, were arrested by Rindge police in February.

The three men entered the dorm room of two other students threatening to steal from them. Rindge police said nothing was stolen from the room and that the two victims suffered “very minor injuries.”

In two years, Dixon will report back to the court. Pending his good behavior over that period, Dixon will not have to serve the 360 day sentence. Ruoff said the charges in the case could eventually be struck from Dixon’s record. 

“I have talked to Mr. Dixon, his mother, and his father, and I think we agree that this will be indeed a blip on the radar screen,” defense attorney Nicholas Howie said. “In two years, I am very confident we will come back here and show that he has stayed out of trouble.”

Howie said Dixon has lost much since he was arrested, namely his full-ride scholarship to Franklin Pierce University. Dixon played for the varsity basketball team and had a 3.2 GPA during his time at the university, Howie said. 

“He got caught up in the wrong situation and this will never happen again… he wants to get his life back on track,” Howie said.

Since his arrest, Dixon has been working at a CVS and Safeway Supermarket in Virginia. He intends on enrolling in a community college for the spring semester, Howie said. 

“This has been a very life altering situation and he completely understands the consequences of his actions,” Howie said. 

Dixon said little during the hearing, other than answering questions from Judge Ruoff. He told Ruoff that the situation “doesn’t make [him] happy” and that he is “deeply sorry for [his] actions.”

Before the hearing ended, Ruoff offered advice to Dixon, telling him to quietly serve his sentence so he can get back to living his life. 

“Try to remember who you were before this happened...try to keep to yourself, don’t try to impress anybody. Don’t try to be like the people you are hanging out with. Try to be like the person that went off to college with a full scholarship,” Ruoff said. “... Don’t let this sentence define you and do more harm than good.”

Dixon is the last of the three men to be sentenced.

In June, McCall was sentenced to 60 days in jail with a four day pretrial confinement credit, with the remainder of a one-year sentence suspended for two years on good behavior, on a charge of simple assault. He was sentenced to a consecutive one year sentence for a charge of criminal trespassing, which was deferred for two years. 

Kante was sentenced in August to 90 days in jail with a 43 day pretrial confinement credit on a charge of simple assault, and an 11 month jail sentence – all suspended for three years – on a criminal trespass charge. 

Felony-level charges of burglary and robbery were also dropped in Kante’s and McCall’s cases.