BELLINGHAM, Wash. - Kamee Dixon was back on the witness stand to tell her side of the story about the events leading to the death of her boyfriend’s daughter. Dixon was charged with homicide by abuse and second-degree murder for the death of 3-year-old Hazel Homan.
The prosecution accused Dixon of abusing Hazel, causing a deadly brain injury consistent with Shaken Baby Syndrome.
Dixon recalled the morning of November 27, 2019 at the apartment they lived in. She told the court she bathed Hazel, wrapped her in a blanket and placed the child on a couch with a sandwich. Dixon said she went into a different room of their home to retrieve tax documents, and when she returned, she found Hazel unresponsive.
"She was slumped up against the couch," said Dixon.
When a defense attorney asked her what she did after seeing Hazel "slumped over," Dixon replied, "I didn’t know what was going on. I knew something was very, very wrong when I looked at Hazel. It was like the lights—the lights in her eyes were off."
Dixon claimed Hazel was choking and immediately tended to her. She said the child had locked jaw, so Dixon opened her mouth and saw food lodged inside. Dixon said she "scooped out" the food, but the 3-year-old wasn’t breathing.
"I remember grabbing her body and throwing it over my arm and pounding on her back thinking maybe some food would come up or something. That didn’t help, so then I’m like, well what do I do? Do I do CR? So, I’m not a medical professional, I’m not trained and I wish that I would have been. But I figured if she wasn’t choking then she needed CPR. So I began to do CPR," said Dixon.
Dixon told the court Hazel was still unresponsive after she attempted CPR. She said she grabbed the child in her arms and ran out of her apartment banging on the doors of her neighbors until someone opened up. Dixon said she used a neighbor’s cellphone to call 911 and paramedics arrived shortly after.
The court also heard testimony from the defense’s witness Dr. Satish Chundru, a forensic pathologist based in Texas. He told the jury he reviewed Hazel’s autopsy reports conducted by the King County Medical Examiners Office. He claimed to have previous experience reviewing multiple cases that were ruled incorrectly.
Chundru said accusations of abusive head trauma in Hazel’s case are wrong, and believes there could be a medical reason to her brain injury.
"So, the manner should have been either an accident, but it’s something that doctors maybe would go undetermined as well. For sure, a ruling of a homicide is inappropriate," said Dr. Chundru.
The defense contends Hazel’s death was not the result of abuse, but rather an accident of choking on food causing the injuries that led to her death. The prosecution contends her final, deadly injuries can only be explained by abusive head trauma.