Dixon child abuse case moving forward as 10 children get therapy for 'abuse/neglect'
By GABRIEL MONTE
The case of a Lubbock woman accused of abusing her adopted daughter is set to go to trial in February, according to court records.
And the 10 children she and her husband were responsible for raising remain in foster care and are receiving therapy to “move past the abuse/neglect they’ve experienced,” a children’s advocate said.
Wonda Dixon, 59, is accused of withholding food, water and medical care from her 12-year-old adopted daughter.
A Lubbock County grand jury indicted Dixon on Oct. 1, 2013, on a charge of injuring a child knowingly or intentionally, resulting in severe bodily injury.
Her husband, 63-year-old Dave Dixon, faces the same charge.
They were arrested the next day and were booked into the Lubbock County Detention Center where they remain incarcerated.
The couple have denied any wrongdoing.
Their bond is set at $150,000 each, according to jail records.
They are being represented by different attorneys and their request for a bond reduction last year was denied, according to court records.
Affidavits filed with the 137th District Court state the Dixons ignored their adopted daughter’s disturbing behavior and punished her by withholding food and water and ordering her siblings to hit her.
Charges were filed against the Dixons after officials found the 12-year-old weighing 58 pounds.
School personnel had concerns about the girl and contacted the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services.
Teachers found the girl stealing food and eating out of trash cans, according to the affidavit.
The girl was pulled from public school and home-schooled after the report.
“If she would not throw her food over the fence and feed the dogs when she is angry she would not lose weight,” Wonda Dixon is quoted as saying by a child abuse investigator.
Dave Dixon said the 12-year-old girl would urinate and defecate on herself as the family ate, court documents said. As a result, she would be sent outside to eat.
The girl was taken to University Medical Center at the request of a Child Protective Services investigator because of her emaciated condition, according to the affidavit.
Child Protective Services specialist Rosa Garcia described the girl as being “unsteady, and appears to walk like she is about to break.” The girl’s spine and ribs were visible through her shirt, according to Garcia.
She weighed 58 pounds and a UMC doctor said her condition could have been fatal if it went untreated.
“The department feels that any child left in the care of the Dixons would be unsafe,” Garcia wrote in an affidavit. “The department believes there is a lot more going on in the home, but we will not get a clear picture of what that is until the children are removed.”
The Dixons had 10 children ages 5 to 14 living in their home on County Road 7240.
CPS media specialist Paul Zimmerman said the children were removed from the Dixon home six weeks prior to the arrests because of concerns about severe physical and medical neglect, according to A-J archives.
“All of the Dixon children are in foster care at this time and receiving (trauma-informed) therapy to meet their individual needs and help them move past the abuse/neglect they’ve experienced,” Zimmerman said in an email. “We’ll continue to monitor their safety and welfare while working toward permanent placements for each child such as adoption, family reunification, permanent managing conservatorship to a relative/suitable individual or another planned living arrangement (i.e. independent living, community care or foster family DFPS conservatorship.)”
Zimmerman said CPS is not assisting in the Dixons’ prosecution, but CPS workers will share the findings of their investigation and may be called as witnesses.
Court records do not show when the case against Dave Dixon will go to trial. However, he has elected for a jury to determine his punishment if he is convicted, court records show.
At present, the couple is asking the court to reconsider their request for reduced bonds.