James Dixon pleaded guilty Monday in the brutal beating death of a 21-year-old transsexual man he mistook for a woman.
Dixon, 25, was charged with 2 counts of manslaughter and one count of felony assault in the 2013 beating death of Islan Nettles, a gay man who dressed as a woman.
In a written confession to police, Dixon admitted he "hollered" at Nettles on August 17, 2013. He said he and his friends approached a group of transsexuals "thinking they were girls" on Eighth Avenue. He singled out Nettles but he was embarrassed when a friend yelled "That's a man!"
"I asked the one I was talking to if she was a guy," Dixon said. When Nettles said yes, Dixon snapped.
He told investigators his anger was precipitated by a similar incident a few days earlier when he mistook another transsexual for a woman.
"I just didn't want to be fooled," Dixon said, during the hour-long interrogation recording obtained by the NY Daily News.
In a "blind fury" Dixon brutally beat Nettles on the street in front of a police precinct, around 2:20 a.m. on August 17, 2013. Nettles fell, hitting his head on a concrete curb with such force that he sustained a serious brain injury. But Dixon kept punching him.
Nettles lingered in a coma for five days in ICU until he was declared brain dead and taken off life support on Aug. 22, 2013.
On Monday, Dixon accepted a plea deal to serve 12 years in prison over the objections of prosecutors who wanted him to serve no less than 17 years.
"It's not enough time," said Nettles' aunt Lisa Allen outside the Manhattan Supreme Court.
"That's not fair at all. My nephew is dead."
Dixon will be sentenced on April 19.