A man accused of using a fire extinguisher to beat his mother to death in her Texarkana, Texas, home in March 2009 was in front of a Bowie County judge on Monday.
Al Jerome Dixon, 31, has been repeatedly found incompetent because of mental health issues since he was charged with murder in 2009 in the death of Martha Ann Stephens Jenkins. Dixon was recently brought back to the Bowie County jail from a state hospital and questions regarding his competency continue.
At a hearing before 202nd District Judge John Tidwell, Bowie County Assistant Public Defender Clayton Haas and First Assistant District Attorney Kelley Crisp said they are waiting for records from the state hospital concerning Dixon’s current mental state before determining how to proceed in the case.
A defendant must understand the proceedings around them and be able to assist in their own defense in order to be found competent. A defendant may also claim they are not responsible for criminal conduct if suffering from a mental disease or defect that rendered them incompetent at the time of the alleged crime.
Jenkins was found on the floor of her kitchen by two grandchildren returning from school who were living with her in March 2009, according to a probable cause affidavit. Jenkins’ purse and keys were nearby. A fire extinguisher was discovered near the body.
Dixon allegedly provided conflicting accounts of his whereabouts at the time of Jenkins’ death. The children allegedly told investigators that Dixon and Jenkins often fought and that they had recently clashed when Jenkins asked Dixon to carry groceries in the house from her car.
Tidwell rescheduled the case for a pretrial hearing next month. Dixon faces five to 99 years or life in prison if convicted of murder.