BELLINGHAM, Wash. - Jury trial is underway of a Bellingham woman accused of shaking the life out of a 3-year-old girl. Detectives said Hazel Homan suffered a brain injury consistent with Shaken Baby Syndrome in Nov. 2019.
Kamee Dixon is accused of the child’s death, charged with homicide by abuse and second-degree murder.
It is possible Dixon could take the stand at Whatcom County Superior Court to tell her version of events leading to Hazel’s death. Tuesday afternoon, Brandon Homan—the child’s father and Dixon’s boyfriend—began his testimony.
In some of his opening remarks, Homan explained Hazel was birthed by emergency C-section. He claimed that could have been the start of the child’s possible health issues.
"My daughter came out blue, purple and unconscious," said Homan, "a miracle that she was here."
During testimony, Homan explained how his "trouble with law enforcement" led to Child Protective Services taking Hazel away from his care. Homan said it was Dixon, who was "consistently" trying to help him regain custody of his daughter. The request was granted in the summer of 2019.
Detectives said Dixon had primary care of Hazel while Homan went to work. Court documents said before the brain injury that took her life, Hazel suffered additional harm for at least a six-month period. This included bruises all over her body, neck and groin, and several broken bones revealed by x-rays from a county medical examiner’s office.
Dixon’s defense team contends that the little girl’s death wasn’t the result of abuse, but a tragic accident. They allege the child choked on something, resulting in brain damage and death. The prosecution claims the final, fatal injuries can only be explained by abusive head trauma.
It’s been more than three and a half years and Hazel’s loved ones are longing for a conclusion to the heartbreaking loss. Her maternal grandfather, Jason Pederson, said he has been living in agony since the death of his first granddaughter.
"I’m broken. I’m broken in a way that isn’t safe, it isn’t okay. If you can’t find joy in your day-to-day life anymore, what’s the point?" said Pederson.
The grandfather said there is very little he knows about the developments in the trial. He explained, as a potential witness in the trial, he is not allowed to hear any of the testimonies or remarks from the prosecution and defense.
"There’s so much I don’t know, and there’s so much I’m not allowed to know. Like, if I know someone is testifying, I can’t talk to them. So, it leaves me in a dark room pretty much wondering what’s going on with the murmurs I hear in the next room," said Pederson.