Closing arguments begin in trial of Bellingham woman accused in the death of boyfriend's child

Prosecutors presented closing arguments in their case against a Bellingham woman accused in the death of her boyfriend's 3-year-old daughter, Hazel Homan, back in 2019.

Tuesday morning was spent conducting court proceedings, filing motions and objections as defense for Kamee Dixon tries to prove Hazel's death was a tragic accident, and the prosecution tried to prove Hazel's death at the hands of Dixon was child abuse. 

During part of their presentation, the prosecution reminded the jury of a previous testimony from a King County medical examiner:

"The medical examiner showed you overwhelming evidence of trauma, including 50 blows to Hazel—injuries of varying ages, clear evidence of recent, inflicted trauma. There is no evidence of Hazel choked. The choking story does not make sense," said Erik Sigmar, Whatcom County deputy prosecutor.

Throughout the trial, the defense contended Hazel’s death was a tragic accident—claiming she choked on food and the lack of oxygen caused the brain injury. During her previous testimony, Dixon claimed she found Hazel "slumped over" and unresponsive on a couch at their home. She said she opened the child’s locked jaw with her hands, saw food lodged inside and "scooped out" the food, but the child 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.

Woman on trial for the death boyfriend's daughter claimed to have loving relationship with child

A Bellingham woman on trial for the death of her boyfriend’s 3-year-old daughter told the court she and the child shared a loving relationship. Kamee Dixon took the stand for the second day– sharing memories of what she claimed were happy times with Hazel Holman.

However, the prosecution said Dixon subjected Hazel to repeated physical abuse before the final, fatal encounter back in November 2019. They accused Dixon of shaking Hazel, causing a brain injury consistent of Shaken Baby Syndrome, resulting in her death. 

"Hazel sustained a catastrophic traumatic head injury. That’s what stopped her heart, that’s what stopped her breathing, and that’s what led to her hospitalization on November 27," said Sigmar.

During closing arguments, Sigmar showed the jury a series of exhibits including text messages, pictures and videos of some of Dixon’s encounters with Hazel. One of the pictures shown was an image of Hazel’s burned hand, which was taken at a doctor’s office. Prosecutors said the burn happened while the child was under Dixon’s supervision, but said the injury wasn’t reported until 11 days after the burn.

The prosecution also claimed Hazel was kept in isolation from family, friends and daycare if she had bruises on her body.

"The injuries to Hazel Homan were severe. Beyond the bruises to her head and body on various stages of healing, she suffered from numerous fractures. You heard from defense expert Dr. Evan Matshes that Hazel had suffered fractures in virtually every one of her thoracic vertebrae. The fractures to Hazel’s long bones, arm and leg fracture in his words ‘exquisitely painful at the time that they were fractured.’ Yet, there’s no evidence that of Hazel having received medical care," said Sigmar.

The defense did not give closing arguments Tuesday. Dixon’s attorneys told the judge they wanted to show some short clips of testimonies already heard throughout the trial. However, after further review, the judge halted their plan to show the clips during closing arguments. The defense asked for a recess for the rest of the day in order to give them a fair amount of time to re-work their closing arguments. The judge approved the request.

Hazel is the daughter of Brandon Homan, Dixon’s boyfriend. The child was in Dixon’s care while Homan went to work. Dixon is charged with homicide by abuse and second-degree murder.