Grandmother Says Daughter Blameless in Death of Grandchild - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

04/04/06

Grandmother Says Daughter Blameless in Death of Grandchild

Diamond Dixon Diamond Dixon

A Vidalia family is still in disbelief as police investigate the death of their two-year-old granddaughter. Diamond Dixon died at an Augusta hospital after her mother, LaToya Dixon, rushed her to the emergency room in Vidalia Saturday.

Detectives believe the child swallowed crack cocaine in her mother's apartment. They arrested the mother for murder.

As Diamond's grandmother plans the little girl's funeral, she says the worst thing her daughter did was pick the wrong guy for a boyfriend.

In the wake of her granddaughter's death, Ann Burton is still in shock. She can't believe the two-year-old is gone and her daughter LaToya is charged with felony murder.

"It's like somebody took a straight razor and just cut you and took your insides out," she said.

Saturday morning, LaToya rushed Diamond to the hospital after she swallowed what LaToya thought was hydrocortisone in a type of candy container. Police believe it was crack.

Ann blames LaToya's boyfriend. "As God is my witness, he must have knew what was in that container, little candy tube," she said. "My child's never been in no trouble, never been a problem, never arrested. She loved her kids, took pride in her kids. There's no way she'd hurt her young'uns."

According to the law, felony murder doesn't require intent to kill or harm, only the intent to knowingly commit a dangerous crime. Police say keeping cocaine in the house--hers or not--put the children at risk.

"My understanding is she told them she knew it was there to cover [her boyfriend's] behind. But that's a lie," Ann told us. "She's covering."

Ann says all she can do is stand by her daughter and the only family she has left.

Police are waiting for autopsy and toxicology reports to confirm exactly what Diamond swallowed. Meanwhile, her family is planning her funeral for Saturday.

Police wouldn't elaborate too much about whether the boyfriend is being investigated, but said they're looking at every possible theory and the case is still under investigation.

Reported by: Dal Cannady, dcannady@wtoc.com

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