- Associated Press - Tuesday, June 14, 2016

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) - A Charleston man will spend the rest of his life behind bars after pleading guilty to killing a police informant.

Thirty-nine-year-old Marlon Dewayne Dixon was sentenced to life in prison in federal court in Charleston on Monday.

Dixon pleaded guilty in November to tampering with a witness or informant by killing.

Authorities said Dixon lured Branda Mae Delight Basham to a secluded area in Charleston and shot her repeatedly with a pistol on July 12, 2014. He surrendered to police five days later.

Basham, 22, was working as a police informant. Dixon sold drugs to her several times.

Dixon was convicted of federal drug trafficking charges in 1999 and 2006, and malicious wounding charges in Kanawha County in 2007.

“I saw her with my own eyes talking to the Feds,” Dixon said in court. “She told me she had to do it. . She told me, ‘You are the only one they wanted.’ And that was the end of that.”

“This case represents the worst nightmare of any family,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Joshua Hanks said in court. “Our District, our nation is eaten up by opiate addiction. The Bashams “could be any family in this District. They are good people and loved Branda as deep and complete as any parent loves their child.”

The Charleston Gazette-Mail (https://bit.ly/1toQZn1 ) reports that U.S. District Judge Thomas Johnston said it marked the first life sentence he had handed down. Johnston began serving on the federal bench in 2006.

“Life imprisonment is a just punishment,” Johnston said.

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