CHARLOTTE, N.C. — A mother who is accused of trying to smother her 1-year-old son with her hands and a pillow while at Levine Children’s Hospital made her first appearance in court Tuesday afternoon.
Maggie Dixon, 32, faces charges of attempted first-degree murder and felony child abuse inflicting serious bodily injury.
Dixon shook her head as a judge read the charges against her. That was the only emotional response she showed in court.
The mother of two is currently behind bars.
Investigators said Dixon suspected her 1-year-old son had pneumonia.
Hospital staff were alerted to abnormalities in the victim's vital signs and fluctuations in the boy's breathing patterns, according to police.
Authorities said the hospital staff looked at video surveillance and saw Dixon attempting to suffocate the child. Police sources told Channel 9 that Dixon tried to smother the boy four times within 15 minutes.
Officers said that prior to the incident, there were no signs that the child had been previously abused.
Police credited the quick thinking and actions of the nurses for saving the child's life.
Dixon was removed from the room by hospital staff and was taken to be interviewed by police.
The 1-year-old remains at the hospital with other family members but is expected to recover.
The Department of Social Services is assisting with the investigation. Channel 9 has heard that a decision has been made to turn the child over to his father once he is released from the hospital.
Channel 9 has been told that the couple is separated. They are originally from Laurinburg.
Channel 9 learned Dixon has a medical background as a respiratory therapist.
She worked in the field from 2008 to 2011, but her license has expired.
Bill Croft, the executive director of the North Carolina Respiratory Board, taught at Sandhills Community College, where Dixon was one of his students.
"It's always a concern to me, you know, when a former student or a former colleague or anybody has a charge against them," Croft said. "It is a charge, not a conviction, so I'm holding out hope that, one, they find out there's not the issue that they charged her with, and if there is, then hopefully she gets help."
Croft said he doesn't want to believe the allegation.
"Hopefully, she gets help serious help, because I can't fathom suffocating your own child,” Croft said. “It's stunning to even suggest that somebody I know would do that."
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