28-year-old Sarasota man charged with 2nd-degree murder in connection with shooting at home in Newtown area of Sarasota

Public defender demands jury trial

Terrell Donald Battie. Photo courtesy Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office

A 28-year-old Sarasota man has been charged with second-degree murder in connection with an incident reported on Feb. 2 at a home on North Lockwood Meadows Boulevard in north Sarasota, the Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office has reported.

About 4:09 p.m. on Feb. 2, a news release said, deputies responded to reports of a shooting in the area of North Lockwood Meadows Boulevard. When they arrived, the release added, they found the victim, Britney M. Dixon, 36, outside the residence; she was “unresponsive from an apparent gunshot wound … Dixon was transported to Sarasota Memorial Hospital but ultimately succumbed to her injuries.”

Officers took Terrell Donald Battie, of 2929 N. Lockwood Meadows Blvd., into custody at the scene, the release said. He was transported to the county jail, in downtown Sarasota, “without incident,” the release added.

As of the morning of Feb. 7, Battie was being held without bond. His arraignment had been scheduled for March 15, his Sheriff’s Office Corrections Division record noted. However, on Feb. 5, 12th Judicial Circuit Court records show, public defender Gino Lombardi filed a plea of “Not Guilty” in Battie’s case, along with a demand for a jury trial.

The case remains under investigation, the Sheriff’s Office news release pointed out.

The house listed as Battie’s address is owned by the revocable trust of a Sarasota couple, the Sarasota County Property Appraiser’s website shows.

North Lockwood Meadows Boulevard is just south of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Drive and east of North Tuttle Avenue in Sarasota, as seen on a map.

Argument precedes shooting

The Probable Cause Affidavit filed in the case says that after deputies arrived at the home on Feb. 2, and “observed the victim unresponsive,” deputies rendered aid to her. Nonetheless, Dixon died in the rescue unit on the way to Sarasota Memorial Hospital, the affidavit notes.

Battie “exited the residence and made a statement to the effect of ‘F*** it take me to jail then,’ ” the affidavit adds.

In conducting “a sweep of the residence,” the affidavit continues, a deputy observed a handgun on a bed in one of the bedrooms.

Further, the affidavit points out that a neighbor “witnessed the incident in its entirety.”

That witness told officers that he saw Dixon arrive at the house, park her vehicle in the driveway, and exit it “with a lug wrench in her hand.” After Dixon entered the home, the affidavit says, a disturbance began. “The victim and [Battie] then exited the residence and engaged in a verbal argument,” the affidavit says, reporting the witness’ statement.

Following that exchange, the witness told officers, Dixon “entered her vehicle with the lug wrench and backed out of the driveway.” As she was leaving, the affidavit adds, Battie’s sister, Sharon Battie, arrived in her vehicle.

Then Dixon and Sharon Battie “exited their vehicles,” and another argument ensued, the affidavit notes. “The victim did not have the lug wrench in her hand at this time,” it adds.

The house standing at 2929 N. Lockwood Meadows Blvd. in Sarasota is outlined in purple. Image from the Sarasota County Property Appraiser’s Office

As the argument continued, the witness told officers, Dixon “made animated hand gestures toward [Terrell Battie], at which time [Battie] pulled a firearm from his pocket and fired one shot into the victim’s chest.”

Dixon’s “juvenile son then exited the vehicle with the lug wrench and charged toward [Battie] as [Battie] pointed the firearm at him,” the affidavit notes. “The victim’s son dropped the lug wrench in the driveway and retreated,” the affidavit says, again referencing the witness’ statements.

Law enforcement officers’ interviews of Dixon’s son and Terrell’s sister, produced similar accounts, the affidavit adds. Both the son and Sharon Battie indicated that the incident “began over cameras being installed in [Battie’s] residence by [his sister] to keep watch of [Battie’s] grandmother, which angered [Dixon].”

Terrell Battie also provided a similar account, the affidavit notes. Battie reported that Dixon “ ‘came in the house aggressive,’ at which point he retreated to his bedroom and retrieved his handgun, which he placed in his pocket.”

Battie followed Dixon outside, the affidavit adds, indicating that he watched her start to back out of the driveway. Then, when Dixon — who was unarmed — began arguing again, the affidavit continues, Battie stated that “she kept bucking her chest with her hands in his face as she said ‘nasty’ things. [Battie] stated he blacked out with anger over the things she was saying, pulled his handgun from his pocket, and pulled the trigger once.”

The affidavit points out that Terrell repeatedly told officers, “ ‘I just snapped.’ ”

A Sarasota News Leader check of the 12th Judicial Circuit Court records maintained by the Office of the Sarasota County Clerk of the Circuit Court and County Comptroller’s Office found only one other charge against Battie. In August 2017, he was cited early in the morning for riding a bicycle with either no light or an improper light.

That incident occurred in the 2900 block of North Lockwood Meadows Boulevard, the document said.