Marcus Dickson

Marcus Dickson of Marana was recently sentenced to nine years in prison for shooting Martin Padilla.

Dickson, 28, shot Padilla in a shopping center following a dustup between the two on the road June 30, 2017.

According to police reports, the two men were engaged in a scuffle in a parking lot, when Dickson pulled out a gun and fatally shot Padilla in the torso.

An argument broke out after Dickson—who was in the passenger seat with his son driving at the time—followed Padilla’s car into the lot from the intersection of Cortaro Road and Arizona Pavilions, when Dickson began honking at Padilla, the report said. 

Dickson apparently began honking again once Padilla’s vehicle entered the Walmart parking lot, and subsequently pulled his car in front of Padilla’s, blocking his exit, the report said.

That’s when both men got out of their cars and a verbal and physical fight began.

Padilla pushed Dickson to the ground, and Dickson told officers he tried to push Padilla off of him but couldn’t do so, so he shot at Padilla twice.

The county’s sentencing recommendation refuted Dickson’s claims, saying that his aggressive driving behavior stood in stark contrast to what he told officers.

The recommendation cast doubt about Dickson’s claim of self-defense, given his size (6 foot 5 inches and 300 pounds), and the fact that Padilla was unarmed and did not present himself as a deadly threat to Dickson.

The state also cited video and eyewitness testimony, which they said revealed that Padilla was simply wrestling with Dickson’s shoulders and arms, trying to hold him down and not actively trying to do harm as a reason for charging Dickson with manslaughter. 

Deputy County Attorney Jonathan Mosher also cited emotional duress put on the Padilla family as a reason for wanting manslaughter charges brought against Dickson.

“The State proved emotional harm to the victim’s family at trial,” Mosher wrote in the sentencing memorandum. “The court will recall the testimony of the victim’s son regarding the impact [Dickson’s] criminal action has had on his family … The state’s position is this aggravation is entitled to great weight in this case.”

Dickson was sentenced Monday, July 30 to one count of manslaughter and given a nine-year sentence, less than the 10-and-a-half-year sentence that the county was seeking.

The 28-year-old was facing anywhere from seven to 21 years in prison as a result of his deadly actions, according to the memorandum.

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