Dad on mom accused of murder: 'They're making a tragic accident into something it's not'

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KBAK/KBFX) The mother accused of murdering her young son made her first court appearance Wednesday, and her husband insists she is not responsible for the death.

Alexis Dixon, 31, entered not guilty pleas and will be back in court in about two weeks.

Dixon, who also is listed at Alexis Barrow in some court documents, is charged with first-degree murder and the assault of a child under 8, resulting in death.

At the Wednesday afternoon hearing, the mother told the judge she could not afford an attorney, and the judge said one would be appointed for her.

Markey Dixon died in April 2010, after suffering injuries at the small travel trailer where the family lived off Stockdale Highway.

Father Mark Dixon was working there at a kennel. Officers were called out to respond, and they started an investigation believing the injuries seemed suspicious.

The 4-year-old child died the next day at the Children's Hospital of Central California in Madera.

That was four years ago. The mother was arrested for his murder this Monday afternoon.

"They're making a tragic mistake, they're making a tragic accident into something it's not," the father told Eyewitness News after his wife's court appearance.

Mark Dixon said they think about their son every day and miss him.

On Tuesday, Kern County Sheriff's spokesman Ray Pruitt admitted the investigation took a long time. He said that can happen in complicated cases.

"Our job is not to jump to conclusions, but to investigate the case based on the merits," Pruitt said. "It's been a long and grueling case, but we feel that we've arrested the person responsible for Markey Dixon's murder."

In the court hearing, Alexis Dixon appeared to be wearing "paper" jail clothing, often issued for inmates if there's a worry about suicide.

Asked how his wife is doing, Mark Dixon said it's been tough.

"Not good," he responded. "I mean this is a shock. It's been four years, and (we've been) just trying to get on with our lives."

When the child was hurt, the mother told investigators he fell about two feet from a table. She also said she tried to help him, but Markey's head slid against a wall and hit a pole outside the family's travel trailer.

Medical experts said that explanation did not fit the injuries, according to court documents filed in the case. They ruled Markey died of multiple blunt force traumas, and the death was a "homicide."

As Eyewitness News first reported on the one-year anniversary of the child's death, Kern County Coroners officials said investigators had found evidence of ongoing abuse. An officer said a "significant and extremely large number of scars" had been found on Markey's body.

On Wednesday, the judge kept the mother's bail at $2 million, and set her next court appearance for April 15.

Since the mother's arrest, some friends who say they knew little boy have asked why it's taken four years to hold somebody accountable for his death.

Mark Dixon also asked why the investigation took so long. But, he thinks authorities got it wrong.

"It's bad enough we lost our son, and now we have to live with that," Dixon said. "And now they're trying to put an innocent woman away. That's not right."