BELLINGHAM, Wash. - Jury trial continued on Wednesday for a Bellingham woman accused of killing her boyfriend’s 3-year-old daughter. Detectives said Hazel Homan suffered a brain injury consistent with Shaken Baby Syndrome in November 2019.
Kamee Dixon was charged with homicide by abuse and second-degree murder.
The hearing continued, giving Dixon’s defense a chance to present its side of the story.
Brandon Homan, Hazel’s father and Dixon's boyfriend, took the stand to finish his testimony.
"Loved my little girl more than anything in this world," said Homan.
He could not hold back tears while viewing videos and pictures of his daughter presented to the court. The images were shown to the court as evidence to illustrate what the defense claimed was a caring relationship between Hazel and Dixon.
In some of the images shown during court, the child’s father said he remembers his daughter walking, running and smiling with Dixon.
Detectives said Dixon had primary care of Hazel while Homan went to work. Court documents stated before the brain injury that took her life, Hazel suffered other injuries. This included bruises all over her body, neck and groin, and several broken bones revealed by x-rays from a medical examiner’s office.
During day one of Homan’s testimony, he 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.
During day two of Homan’s testimony, prosecutors questioned him about his involvement with Washington State Department of Children, Youth and Families and Child Protective Services.
The questioning was recorded in court as followed:
Prosecutor: Regarding DCYF or CPS, you understood the requirements to report injuries, correct?
Prosecutor: That was impressed upon you the importance of doing that, correct?
Prosecutor: You never reported bruising to Hazel, did you?
Prosecutor: Never reported a head wound to Hazel?
Prosecutor: Never reported a broken bone in her leg?
Brandon: I wasn’t aware. No.
Prosecutor: Never reported a broken bone in her arm?
Brandon: I wasn’t aware. No.
Prosecutor: Never reported a broken finger?
Prosecutor: Never reported fractures throughout her spine?
Prosecutor: And when Kamme reported to you that Hazel was black and blue on November 20, 2019, you did not report that to CPS, correct?
When defense attorneys asked Homan to clarify his knowledge of Hazel’s broken bones, the father said he had no idea.
"I was unaware. I never seen signs of my daughter in any pain or distress, irritation or else I would have been on it. The exact same way when she got something in her eye, same way when she burned her hand," said Homan.
During the father’s testimony, defense attorneys asked Homan about what he would do if he was aware his child was at risk of harm. The questioning was recorded in court as followed:
Defense: If you were dating somebody who you believe was hurting your daughter, what would you do?
Homan: I would move. I would take her out of the situation.
Defense: Did you ever see any indication of injuries that you believed looked suspicious for child abuse?
Brandon: No, and I talked to my daughter frequently
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, deadly injuries could only be explained by abusive head trauma.
The jury trial began in April 2022. Officials said it’s shaping up to be the longest trial in the history of Whatcom County Superior Court