Exclusive, archived interview shows Christmas homicide victim years before tragic death

13Investigates has uncovered new information about a young woman who died in a Christmas homicide. Sky Lemmons-Dixon shared a powerful message about standing up for what you believe in.

Her best friends also told 13Investigates what they’ll remember about her, and how she lived in fear of her abusive ex-boyfriend.

Christmas homicide victim: “beautiful person inside and out”

13investigates has uncovered new information about the young women who died in that Christmas homicide. Sky Lemmons-Dixon shared a powerful message about standing up for what you believe in.

In 2018, Lemmons-Dixon shared these powerful words with NewsChannel 13 while she was a student at The Charlton School in Burnt Hills, a school for troubled teenage girls.

“It’s never a wrong thing to say what you believe in. That’s always the thing I will carry on after leaving here,” she said.

The story was for a NewsChannel 13 ‘Top Teacher’ segment. Lemmons-Dixon spoke about what she learned from her social studies teacher, Tracy Allen, about female empowerment and using your voice.

Sitting right next to Lemmons-Dixon in that class was one of her best friends, Ariella Mendes.

“She had the biggest heart, and it didn’t matter what was going on in her life at the time, she always made sure to make her friends knew how much she cared about them and loved them,” Mendes.

Lemmons-Dixon died after spending days at Albany Medical Center. She was shot in the head on Christmas morning in Albany, police said.

13Investigates learned the shooting happened a week after her abusive ex-boyfriend, Houston Ketter was sentenced to 50 years to life for setting a woman on fire. Ketter also burned Lemmons-Dixon with a hot pot.

Lemmons-Dixon was supposed to testify at Ketter’s trial but vanished, even telling a crime victim advocate her life would be in danger if she showed up to court.

“She Facetimed me a few times to tell me about him. Every time she would talk about him, it was just worse than the last thing,” said Mendes. “She was so scared of him. Every time he would come into the apartment. She would be on the phone, and she would just hide it or throw her phone across the room, so he didn’t know it.”

Friends describe Christmas homicide victim before her death

The young woman who died after being shot in the head on Christmas is being described as loyal and loving by friends.

Another friend of Lemmons-Dixon, who did not want to be identified, said in a message: “Sky was my best friend in high school. She was always the person trying to make everyone laugh and was always there if anyone needed someone to talk to. She went through so much throughout her life and she never let it stop her. She was one of the strongest people I knew. The system failed Sky. She was in danger and no one capable of protecting her did anything. Her friends and family cared so much and the police failed her. Sky was beautiful inside and out and did not deserve anything she went through.”

Friends will remember Lemmons-Dixon during her better days.

“The most beautiful person inside and out. She had so much life left to live and so many things left to accomplish,” Mendes said.

The Charlton School also sent a statement:

“Sky was an incredibly bright young woman who excelled in our Equine Therapy program and came from a caring family. She was a leader on campus among her peers. Her family was actively involved in our campus life throughout her time with us and had a wonderful time celebrating her accomplishments at Graduation in 2019. Our thoughts are with Sky’s family during this difficult time and while we will remain connected to them for many years to come, we are allowing them the space they need for now.”