Posted 9 months ago
By John Axtell
The Chadron woman who triggered an Amber Alert in June when she forcibly took her 13-month old niece from the toddler’s mother in a custody dispute has been given probation and a short jail term after pleading No Contest to reduced charges in Dawes County District Court.
Aimy Dixon was originally charged with felony False Imprisonment, but a plea agreement replaced that with a pair of misdemeaners, trespassing and disturbing the peace, for entering her sister’s home without permission and getting to altercation once inside.
Dixon waived a presentence investigation after entering her plea on Tuesday and District Judge Travis O’Gorman gave her 32 days in jail and 1-year’s probation.
While not directly saying why the plea agreement didn’t not include charges for taking the toddler, Deputy County Attorney Joe Stecher did characterize the incident as the result of “miscommunication, misunderstanding, and confusion” over legal custody of the girl.
Both Stecher and Dawes County Public Defender Jerrod Jaeger agreed that there were “better ways” to have handled the custody dispute that would have avoided the incident and the Amber Alert.
Jaeger said the Oglala Sioux Tribal Court had taken custody away from the mother shortly after the girl was born and had placed her with Dixon before moving actual custody to Dixon last November.
Problems arose this summer when it wasn’t clear from later documents from the tribal court whether Dixon still had custody, triggering the June incident in which Dixon and Jesse Morrison…using a child…had broken into the toddler’s home.
The pair scuffled with the mother and her boyfriend before leaving with the girl…eventually switching cars at Dixon’s home, and fleeing to South Dakota. A few hours later, Dixon told authorities she’d arranged for the girl to be returned.
The toddler was recovered unharmed a few hours later near Hot Springs when authorities stopped another couple that was bringing her back to Chadron. That couple was not arrested and both Dixon and Morrison remained at large until her arrest August 2nd and his 5 days later, both near Hot Springs.
Jesse Morrison entered guilty pleas last month in county court to Criminal Mischief and 2nd-degree False Imprisonment. He was fined $500 by Judge Russ Harford and given concurrent terms of 30 days and 7 days with immediate release for time served.