BELLINGHAM, Wash. -- The Bellingham woman accused of shaking the life out of a 3-year-old girl pleaded not guilty in Whatcom County Superior Court on Friday.
Kamee Dixon said she is not responsible for second-degree murder in the death of Hazel Homan.
But the girl's maternal grandfather says all the medical evidence of physical abuse that has since surfaced shows that Hazel’s death was no accident.
Police say Dixon did an unimaginable thing to her boyfriend’s daughter leading to the child’s death. Detectives say Hazel was shaken so hard she had brain bleeds, which doctors compared to Shaken Baby Syndrome.
“I don't understand how anyone could hurt her, when I hear she said 'not guilty' with no look on her face, it infuriates me,” grandfather Jason Pederson said.
On Friday Dixon’s attorney, Emily Beschen, released this statement:
“The Shaken Baby Syndrome diagnosis has been under increasing scrutiny over the past decade. It has been used in courts to send a number of innocent people to prison. We ask the community refrain from passing judgement on Ms. Dixon until they have all of the facts.”
But family members can't get over all of the heartbreaking medical evidence that has since been provided by detectives.
Police say Hazel was physically tormented for the last 6 months of her life by Dixon while Hazel's father Brandon Homan was at work.
“The child was walking around in pain for the last 6 months,” Pederson said.
Court documents state a medical examiner found signs of four bones breaking and healing, including a broken finger, wrist, knee and hip bone. That these injuries occurred in the last 6 months of Hazel's life while in the care of Dixon.
But Beschen says since those allegations came out Dr. Emily Brown contacted Bellingham Police to let them know that the timing of the broken finger and wrist was unclear. Beschen says Dr. Brown also contacted the police to report that the broken knee and hip bone did not appear to be real.
Detectives also brought up that in August a family member noticed a scar on Hazel’s chest that they described as a cigarette burn.
But Beschen says medical records provided has no medical professional saying there was any cigarette burns on Hazel's body.
Court documents also mention at least two visits to the hospital for a hand burn and eye injury.
Pederson says his granddaughter was never in the right care and he blames Child Protective Services.
“They took her from a kind and loving home where she was always happy,” Pederson said.
Hazel's dad Brandon Homan at one point was arrested for domestic violence, causing CPS to step in and take Hazel away. Hazel’s biological mother has not been in her life recently.
CPS placed Hazel with Brandon’s mom for more than a year, and she was with her grandmother up until this summer when she was placed back in her dad's care after he fought to get custody back.
Pederson also claims there were multiple complaints to CPS during the time Hazel was in Dixon’s care.
“If you go to the hospital it should be an immediate home visit and if it's questionable you should be taken,” Pederson said.
Pederson says he wants answers from CPS and justice for his beloved granddaughter.
“I hope that every bad thing that happened to her comes to light and everybody responsible pays for it,” Pederson said.
Last week Homan spoke with Q13 News and passionately defended his girlfriend. With all the allegations that have come forward, Q13 News tried to follow up with Homan about how he feels about his girlfriend now. He had no comment on Friday.
Q13 News has repeatedly reached out to CPS about the allegations, and Friday night a spokesperson responded by saying that they are working to gather information that they can share.
Dixon’s attorney also pointed out that the King County Medical Examiner’s Office has yet to determine Hazel’s cause of death.