Mother who tried to smother baby in hospital pleads to lesser charge

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — A woman accused of trying to smother her baby at a Charlotte hospital pleaded guilty Wednesday to a misdemeanor charge.

Surveillance cameras captured video of Maggie Dixon putting pillows over the little boy's face.

Police arrested Dixon and charged her with attempted murder. She spent five months in jail.

Tuesday’s plea deal included a lesser charge – misdemeanor child abuse. She will not spend any more time in jail.

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“She wasn't trying to kill her child,” her defense attorney, Tony Scheer, said. “I don't think the state's evidence ever really showed that.”

Scheer said the surveillance video didn't show Dixon pushing down on the pillow and trying to smother her son.

“The simple fact is the video did not show that, and there was absolutely no way the state was going to be able to prove, at the end of the day, that she was intending to kill the child,” Scheer said.

“I don't think that we could've proven beyond a reasonable doubt that she wanted him to die,” prosecutor Samantha Pendergrass said.

Pendergrass said that after police arrested Dixon, they learned that she had been heavily medicated at the time, and they couldn't prove that she was trying to kill the little boy.

She said the boy's father was not happy with Dixon's plea deal.

“I can't imagine having to go through that as a parent and it's completely understandable that he is only trying to protect his children -- and is understandably very upset with her actions,” Pendergrass said.