The teen accused of accidentally shooting and killing Newton High School student 17-year-old T.J. Dorsey in February has been
charged as an adult in the death.
Kenneth Jerome Hixson was 16 at the time of the crime, but turned 17 at the end of March. At that time he was transferred
from the juvenile facility to the Rockdale County Jail. On March 10, Juvenile Court Judge William Schneider made the decision to
transfer the case from the juvenile court to superior court.
The charges stem from an evening of fun that ended fatally when Hixson and four other youths were coming back from Atlanta
on Interstate 20 and Hixson reportedly shot Dorsey in the back with a 9 mm gun he was holding. He allegedly told authorities that he believed the safety had been on while he was handling the weapon and did not intend to fire it or to injure Dorsey.
At a vigil held in Dorsey’s memory at NHS, his father, Terry J. Dorsey Sr., spoke to the students assembled about Hixson, who at
that time had not been identified.
“We forgive the person who did this to him [Dorsey]. And if we can forgive him ya’ll can also forgive.” Though he urged the students to forgive the 16-year-old who has been charged with involuntary manslaughter after the 9 mm gun he was reportedly handling went off in a car and struck T.J. in the back, he told them to leave the guns alone.
“To the ones carrying guns,” he continued, “put them down or your either going to jail or to Hell,” he cautioned. “On TV when someone gets shot they get back up… All that gangster stuff — it’s all play play. Carrying a gun does not make you a man. It makes you a punk because you have to hide behind a bullet. Playing with guns and being in gangs — that’s a punk game.”
Hixson has been charged with involuntary manslaughter, reckless conduct, underage possession of a pistol or revolver, carrying a
pistol without a license and wandering or loitering between 12-5 a.m.