By Kevin Wilson: Freedom Newspapers
ALBUQUERQUE — Family members say the way Doris and Odis Newman were brutally killed left emotional scars that will never heal.
Six family members testified Tuesday — one via videotape — during the prosecution’s victim-impact portion in the penalty phase against Stanley Bedford.
They all told similar stories about how the Newmans were hard-working, caring people who didn’t deserve to die in the trunk of a burned car on a rural Roosevelt County road.
Bedford, 43, was found guilty two weeks ago of murder, kidnapping and other charges in connection with the March 3, 2005, killings.
Jurors are now deciding whether Bedford will serve a judge-ordered sentence of 120 years or death by lethal injection.
Bedford maintains he is innocent and gave condolences for the family’s losses in a statement of allocution.
Daughter Vickie Dixon said she was robbed of the chance to take care of her parents like they took care of her.
“They gave of themselves time and time again,” she said. “They were the best people a child like me could have.”
Granddaughter Danna Dixon expressed grief that she never got to say goodbye to grandparents who taught her how to dance and talked with her over bowls of popcorn and glasses of Dr Pepper.
“I had no bodies to see, to kiss and tell how much I loved them and they will be missed,” Danna Dixon said. “Two lives were taken that were not only precious to me, but to the citizens of Roosevelt County.”
Other testimony Tuesday included:
• Dustin Dixon, who said he lived next to his grandparents for a few years and loved nothing more than spending time with them fishing and learning about the electrical business (Valley Electric) the family still owns.
“I know they enjoyed my company as much as I enjoyed theirs,” he said. “I’m so thankful now for the time I had with them. Somehow, I feel like if I was still (living next door to them), this would never have happened.”
• Stanley Dixon, the Newmans’ son-in-law, who said he was hired to work at the family business despite barely knowing how to screw in a light bulb and was always treated like a son.
“They helped me out like they helped so many in the community,” Stanley Dixon said. “I just can’t imagine anybody being so cruel.”
• Doris Newman’s sister, Dolores Wallace, who testified on a video from her Oklahoma home that you just don’t find people like the Newmans anymore.
“Doris and I talked every night for one hour. It made my day complete.”
• Odis Newman’s brother, Gene Newman, who said the couple had plenty of love to go around and Odis made himself into a success from a family who sharecropped and survived the Great Depression.
“Our family may not have had many material things,” he said, “but we were rich where it counted — honesty, loyalty, integrity and being at peace with oneself.”