Jury: Whatcom woman guilty of death of Bellingham toddler

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A Whatcom County woman is guilty of torturing a 3-year-old Bellingham girl to death in 2019.

A jury found Kamee Nicole Dixon, 30, guilty of homicide by abuse on Thursday, June 30 in Whatcom County Superior Court for the November 30, 2019, death of Hazel Journey Homan.

A trial was declared a mistrial on the second degree murder charge because the jury was deadlocked and could not reach a unanimous verdict.

The jury also found that Dixon had used his position of trust or responsibility to commit abusive homicide and that Dixon knew or should have known that Hazel was vulnerable or unable to resist.

Sentencing of Dixon is tentatively scheduled for July 14.

Hazel’s death was ruled a homicide on January 23, 2020 by the King County Medical Examiner’s Office.

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Kamee Nicole Dixon, right, makes her first appearance in Whatcom County Superior Court in 2019. A jury on Thursday, June 30, found her guilty of the second degree murder of a 3-year-old Bellingham girl , which she took care of. Warren Sterling The Bellingham Herald

Dixon was not Hazel’s biological mother, but was Hazel’s primary caregiver and was in a relationship with Hazel’s biological father, Brandon Homan, at the time of the toddler’s death.

Dixon’s jury trial began in mid-April, with jury selection taking place in March. This is one of the longest jury trials in Whatcom County Superior Court history.

Dixon has been in Whatcom County Jail since December 2019 in lieu of $1 million bond.

Defense attorneys for Dixon argued that Hazel’s death was a “tragic accident”.

Emily Beschen, one of Dixon’s defense attorneys, said on the morning of Nov. 27, 2019, Hazel choked on a breakfast sandwich Dixon bought her and a lack of oxygen in the the child’s brain had ultimately led to his death.

Whatcom County Chief Assistant District Attorney Erik Sigmar argued Dixon punched Hazel until the child suffered a traumatic brain injury that resulted in her death. Sigmar said that in the last five months of her life, Hazel suffered repeated abuse from Dixon.

This story was originally published June 30, 2022 11:32 a.m.

Journalist Denver Pratt joined the Bellingham Herald in 2017 and covers the courts, criminal and social justice. She has worked in Montana, Florida and Virginia.

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