Skip to main content

Woman Stabs Ex-Boyfriend, Judge Declares Self-Defense

Chef's_knife_gripOn Nov. 21, 2011, Geneva Dixon of Oakland, Calif., stabbed her ex-boyfriend and child's father, Norris Lewis, to death with a knife. Following the incident, Dixon was arrested and charged with murder. She has been in custody since her arrest. However, a judge recently dismissed the murder charge against Dixon after an investigation revealed that Dixon acted in self-defense.

According to the San Francisco Chronicle, investigators believe Lewis went to Dixon's apartment on the 3500 block of Galindo Street after Dixon told Lewis she wanted to end their relationship, which involved a history of domestic violence.

District Attorney Nancy O'Malley said, "During the encounter, Mr. Lewis strangled Ms. Dixon twice. Breaking free from his choking, Ms. Dixon got a steak knife from the kitchen and ordered Mr. Lewis to leave. He attacked her again and she stabbed him once in the chest, in self-defense."

In court, Deputy Public Defender Jane Brown read a statement from Dixon, in which her client claimed that she acted, "not out of spite or hatred." The statement also indicated that Dixon had loved Lewis since she was 14 and that she still loved him and his family unconditionally.


This case brings to light some important legal considerations pertaining to self-defense. At first, the idea of stabbing an unarmed assailant in the chest may seem a bit extreme. In many cases, employing a weapon against an unarmed assailant would not be justified. However, when you consider the history of domestic violence and the fact that Lewis had reportedly just strangled Dixon twice, her decision to arm herself seems more appropriate (Strangling is a serious attack that could result in unconscious or even death). The fact that while armed with the knife, Dixon told Lewis to leave and Lewis attacked her again is also indicative of Dixon acting in self-defense as opposed to committing murder.


The article does not indicate whether Lewis was bigger and stronger than Dixon, but if he were, this "disparity of force" could make it reasonable for Dixon to arm herself because she was incapable of defending herself empty-handed. The same concept could authorize you to use a higher degree of force when faced with more than one assailant, an armed assailant or when you're tasked with protecting a third party, such as a spouse or a child. Other factors that may be considered when determining the "reasonableness" of your actions might be when you're ability to defend yourself is diminished due to injury or fatigue, or even when an assailant has the high ground, such as on a stairwell, where a shove could send you tumbling.

If Dixon and Lewis were similar in size and strength or if Lewis had only grabbed Dixon by the arm or shoved her rather than strangled her, there's a good chance Dixon would remain behind bars and ultimately be convicted of murder.

What are your thoughts?

Current Magazine Cover

Enjoy articles like this?

Subscribe to the magazine.

Get access to everything Guns & Ammo has to offer.
Subscribe to the Magazine

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Recommended Articles

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

Guns & Ammo TV: Shooting 1,270 Yards with the 5.56 NATO

Guns & Ammo TV: Shooting 1,270 Yards with the 5.56 NATO

Guns & Ammo Rifles & Optics Editor Tom Beckstrand was on location in Idaho where he pushed the limits of the 5.56 NATO cartridge in this segment of “Long Range Tech” for Guns & Ammo TV. Pairing a SIG Sauer MCX Virtus rifle loaded with Hornady's 73-grain ELD-M ammunition, Beckstrand attempted to ring steel set at 1,270 yards, an incredible distance for any 5.56-chambered rifle and beyond the typical range for an AR-15.

Pocket-Pistol Carry Tips and Tricks

Pocket-Pistol Carry Tips and Tricks

Pocket carry, as a method of concealed carry for a defensive firearm, can be a practical option when done right. This is especially true during the colder months when heavy outer garments can obstruct access to a traditional waistline holster. Former U.S. Navy SEAL Jeff Gonzales, president of Trident Concepts, joins G&A contributor Kimberly Heath-Chudwin to discuss guns, training and gear, including Blackhawk's TecGrip holster that can make pocket carry more successful.

Shooting 600 Yards with .300 Blackout

Shooting 600 Yards with .300 Blackout

The .300 Blackout cartridge was developed to provide greater effectiveness than a 9mm at short and medium ranges when fired from a short-barreled suppressed firearm. Just because the cartridge wasn't designed to go long doesn't mean Rifles & Optics Editor Tom Beckstrand won't take it there, using a large-format pistol, no less. Armed with SIG Sauer's 9-inch-barreled MCX Virtus Pistol loaded with Black Hills' 125-grain TMK ammunition, Beckstrand attempts to ring steel at 600 yards with help from Hornady's 4DOF ballistic calculator in this segment of “Long Range Tech.”

Guns & Ammo TV: Springfield Armory XD-M 10mm

Guns & Ammo TV: Springfield Armory XD-M 10mm

In this “At The Range” segment, Guns & Ammo Editor Eric Poole and Senior Field Editor Craig Boddington look over the features of the XD-M.

See More Popular Videos

Trending Articles

The Savage MSR 15 Competition is an out-of-the-box racehorse ready to help you win 3-Gun matches. Here's why.Savage MSR 15 Competition Review Reviews

Savage MSR 15 Competition Review

James Tarr - May 21, 2019

The Savage MSR 15 Competition is an out-of-the-box racehorse ready to help you win 3-Gun...

The Hornady 6.5 PRC (Precision Rifle Cartridge) is a 6.5 PRC - Magnumized 6.5 Creedmoor Rifle

6.5 PRC - Magnumized 6.5 Creedmoor

Tom Beckstrand - August 01, 2018

The Hornady 6.5 PRC (Precision Rifle Cartridge) is a "magnumized" 6.5 Creedmoor. It offers...

The story of a confederate sniper’s revenge and an exclusive look at his rifle.The Story of Civil War Sniper Jack Hinson and His Rifle Historical

The Story of Civil War Sniper Jack Hinson and His Rifle

Kyle Lamb - January 12, 2018

The story of a confederate sniper’s revenge and an exclusive look at his rifle.

Don't mortgage the homestead to get into PRS, this is what's available from the likes of Mossberg, Tikka, Savage, Howa, Bergara, Weatherby and Remington.Starter Rifles for Under $1000 Rifles

Starter Rifles for Under $1000

Aaron Carter - May 09, 2019

Don't mortgage the homestead to get into PRS, this is what's available from the likes of...

See More Trending Articles

More Handgun

When it comes to ammunition for personal defense, the Winchester Silvertip Jacketed Hollow Point (JHP) is a time-tested, proven round.Winchester Silvertip Ammo Features New Look, Pack Size in 2020 SHOT Show

Winchester Silvertip Ammo Features New Look, Pack Size in 2020

Guns & Ammo Digital Staff - January 28, 2020

When it comes to ammunition for personal defense, the Winchester Silvertip Jacketed Hollow...

Fiocchi continues to expand its product line across the shooting and hunting categories, applying its century-long expertise to create new defensive ammo, such as the recently introduced Blue Guardian line of pistol and rifle cartridges, while taking advantage of manufacturing efficiencies to bring high-quality ammo to the consumer at often lower-than-expected prices.Fiocchi: More Than Shotshells Handgun

Fiocchi: More Than Shotshells

Guns & Ammo Staff - July 24, 2020

Fiocchi continues to expand its product line across the shooting and hunting categories,...

Winchester remembers those who fought in World War II with its limited-edition Victory Series.Winchester Limited-Edition Victory Series Rifle

Winchester Limited-Edition Victory Series

Dave Emary

Winchester remembers those who fought in World War II with its limited-edition Victory Series.

Speer has taken its Gold Dot G2 hollow-point bullet and modified it to create a new product line designed for compact personal defense handguns called Gold Dot Carry Gun. Speer Gold Dot Carry Gun Ammunition – First Look Handgun

Speer Gold Dot Carry Gun Ammunition – First Look

Guns & Ammo Staff - June 17, 2020

Speer has taken its Gold Dot G2 hollow-point bullet and modified it to create a new product...

See More Handgun

Magazine Cover

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Digital Now Included!

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE Arrow

Buy Digital Single Issues

Don't miss an issue.
Buy single digital issue for your phone or tablet.

Buy Single Digital Issue on the Guns & Ammo App

Other Magazines

See All Other Magazines

Special Interest Magazines

See All Special Interest Magazines

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Phone Icon

Get Digital Access.

All Guns and Ammo subscribers now have digital access to their magazine content. This means you have the option to read your magazine on most popular phones and tablets.

To get started, click the link below to visit mymagnow.com and learn how to access your digital magazine.

Get Digital Access

Not a Subscriber?
Subscribe Now