Guilty Verdict Returned in Music Row Murder

A Las Vegas resident has been convicted in the 1989 slaying of a music researcher for the now-defunct Cash Box magazine. Richard D’Antonio, 56, was sentenced to life in prison after a jury found him guilty of first-degree murder in the shooting death of 23-year-old Kevin Hughes. A jury also found D’Antonio guilty of assault with intent to commit second-degree murder for shooting Hughes’ friend, singer Sammy Sadler, while they were outside a recording studio on Nashville’s Music Row. D’Antonio had worked with Chuck Dixon, a record promoter and former Cash Box employee who died in 2001. According to testimony, Dixon was upset that Hughes was attempting to stop a scheme that called for record promoters and artists to pay Dixon for positioning on the Cash Box chart. During the trial that ended Thursday (Sept. 25), witnesses testified that D’Antonio had collected bribes as high as $2,000 to ensure that a single charted. Trade publications now use electronic monitoring of radio station airplay to compile singles charts. 09/26/03