Berkeley man charged in Oakland murder case

Image via Facebook
Image via Facebook

A Berkeley man has been charged with fatally shooting a man in Oakland during a robbery last week, authorities said Thursday.

James Watson-Dixon, 29, was charged Thursday by the Alameda County district attorney’s office with murder in the fatal shooting of Karlton McFay on Sept. 2. Watson-Dixon also was charged with using force or threat to try to dissuade a witness from speaking to authorities about the crime, and possession of a firearm by a felon.

According to court papers, Watson-Dixon went to McFay’s home, at 2323 Martin Luther King Jr. Way in Oakland, and pulled a gun on him. Police wrote that Watson-Dixon admitted during an interview to going to McFay’s home to rob him.

During the robbery, McFay was shot and killed.


Police said they were able to positively identify Watson-Dixon as the person who entered McFay’s home. Witnesses told police they saw him flee the scene in a newer black Toyota Camry, which is registered to him, according to court papers.

Watson-Dixon was arrested by the Oakland Police Department on Tuesday, Sept. 8, at about 8:15 p.m. on Interstate 580 at Lakeshore Avenue. He was arraigned Thursday, Sept. 10.

According to charging documents, Watson-Dixon was convicted in December 2011 of home invasion robbery in concert, a felony, and received a sentence of probation.

In that incident, according to court papers, police said he and another man knocked on the door of an apartment in the 1600 block of Fairview Street in Berkeley, forced their way inside and threatened to shoot and kill a man and woman in the home.


Police said the pair stole a computer, iPod, two cellphones, jewelry, $500 in cash, marijuana plants and fluorescent lights for the plants during that robbery.

Last year, Watson-Dixon reportedly fled in his car after knocking down a woman in the street in Berkeley, causing minor injuries, and hitting another vehicle as he tried to escape.

Authorities said he had been driving on Dwight Way west of Hillegass Avenue on June 25 at 5:35 p.m. when he ran into a woman with his vehicle and knocked her to the ground, causing visible injuries and pain to her leg, according to court papers.

Before driving off, he stopped briefly and, as he did, a witness reached through his window and seized his wallet, which held Watson-Dixon’s driver’s license, among other documents. The witness later gave this to police.

The pedestrian who was injured did not require transportation to the hospital for medical treatment, Officer Jennifer Coats, Berkeley Police spokeswoman, told Berkeleyside last year.

As Watson-Dixon fled the scene of that collision in his black Toyota Camry, he struck a white Acura SUV, causing minor property damage, police said. A passenger in that vehicle was able to write down part of Watson-Dixon’s license plate.


He drove away, but police found him about 2 miles away near Harper and Woolsey streets in South Berkeley at 8 p.m. Watson-Dixon lives in the 1800 block of Prince Street, according to court papers.

According to court papers, he admitted to striking a white SUV, and said someone had reached into his vehicle “and snatched his wallet and ID.”

He was arrested at that time, in June 2014, on suspicion of felony hit-and-run causing injury, misdemeanor hit-and-run and probation violation.

His next court appearance was not immediately available from online records posted by the Alameda County sheriff’s department.

Watson-Dixon is being held without bail at Santa Rita Jail in Dublin.

Related:
Driver to enter plea after woman hurt in hit-and-run near Berkeley’s People’s Park (07.16.15)
Berkeleyside Blotter: Crime in Berkeley, June 19-25 (06.30.15)

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Emilie Raguso is Berkeleyside’s senior editor of news. Email: emilie@berkeleyside.com. Twitter: emraguso.