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Man charged with stabbing teen girl continues being held without bond

February 19, 2013|By DAN DEARTH | dan.dearth@herald-mail.com
  • Jenerette Bartholomew Dixon
Jenerette Bartholomew Dixon

WASHINGTON COUNTY — A man charged with stabbing a teenage girl in the chest at a Hagerstown home Saturday will continue to be held without bond at the Washington County Detention Center.

Washington County District Court Judge Mark D. Thomas said Tuesday during a bond review hearing that Jenerette B. Dixon, 38, of 340 N. Jonathan St. in Hagerstown, was too dangerous to risk setting free.

Dixon appeared for the hearing through a closed-circuit television feed between the detention center and the courthouse.

“I believe it is appropriate he be held without bond as a matter of public safety,” Thomas said.

Dixon is charged with one count each of first-degree attempted murder, second-degree attempted murder, first-degree assault, second-degree assault, reckless endangerment, concealing a dangerous weapon and intent to injure with a dangerous weapon.

A conviction on the first-degree attempted murder charge carries a maximum sentence of life imprisonment.

Washington County Assistant State’s Attorney Arthur Rozes said during the bond review hearing that Dixon had an extensive criminal history.

Freed in July 2010 after serving about seven years for second-degree murder in the Maryland state prison system, Dixon was charged Oct. 2 with molesting the same girl he allegedly stabbed Saturday.

Rozes said during the bond review hearing that he wondered why the Washington County District Court Commissioners Office — knowing Dixon’s criminal past — chose not to jail Dixon after the child molestation charges were filed in October.

Administrative Commissioner Timothy Haven did not return a call on Tuesday seeking comment.

Police were called shortly after 4 p.m. Saturday for a report of a stabbing at 340 N. Jonathan St.

When officers arrived, they found a teenage girl sitting on the front steps of the home with a knife embedded up to the handle in her chest, according to the statement of probable cause.

Responding officers determined that the man who stabbed the girl had barricaded himself inside the residence.

Police said the girl was rushed into surgery at Meritus Medical Center east of Hagerstown. Dr. Karl Riggle removed the knife from the girl’s chest.

The knife entered her body at a downward angle, lacerating her diaphragm, peritoneum — the membrane lining the abdominal cavity — and liver, court papers show. The injuries were life-threatening.

Hagerstown Police Chief Mark Holtzman said Tuesday morning that the girl was expected to make a full recovery.

Dixon and a woman were arguing at the house when he grabbed a kitchen knife with a 5- to 6-inch blade, court documents allege. Police said the girl was descending a flight of stairs to see what was going on when Dixon confronted her.

“Jenerette Dixon was observed grabbing at (the victim), while the knife was in his hand,” court records state. “(The victim) was heard yelling, ‘Don’t touch me, don’t touch me!’ and then she immediately fell down the stairs. That is when she was observed with the knife embedded in her chest.”

The victim, four other children who had been inside the house and the woman with whom Dixon had been arguing were able to flee, the statement of probable cause said.

Court documents allege Dixon barricaded himself inside the house and called his sister, saying he was “sorry” and “I stabbed her. I’m scared.”

Officers surrounded the home and negotiated with Dixon for more than two hours. He surrendered to police at 6:38 p.m. Saturday.

Dixon was convicted of second-degree murder in 2003 and sentenced to 25 years in prison, with 15 years suspended and five years of probation following his release, Baltimore City Circuit Court records show.

After his release on the murder charge, Dixon was charged Oct. 2 with sex abuse of a minor, second-degree assault and fourth-degree sex offense. That case had been forwarded to Washington County Circuit Court before the stabbing Saturday.

Mark Vernarelli, a spokesman for the Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services, said Tuesday in an email that Dixon was not paroled after serving time on the second-degree murder conviction.

“He had been released from prison after serving about seven years,” Vernarelli wrote. “As you know, the court had suspended 15 years of his original 25-year sentence, meaning he could have been released even earlier. He was released by law on mandatory supervision in July of 2010. He had been compliant in his supervision.”

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