Inmate faces murder charge in Arlington woman’s slaying

Posted Saturday, Dec. 14, 2013  comments  Print Reprints
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A Fort Worth man who has been in the Tarrant County Jail since September on a weapons charge now faces a murder charge in the slaying of a 67-year-old Arlington woman in June.

Shane L. Dixon, 37, has been a suspect in the death of Signe Edwards since a few days after she was found dead in her house June 9, a police spokeswoman said Friday.

Her body was in a back bedroom with “massive trauma to her head and face,” Tiara Ellis Richard said. The Tarrant County medical examiner listed the cause of death as “multiple chop wounds.”

The slaying was one of four in Arlington that month.

Days later, Dixon was arrested in Oklahoma for traffic violations. In his vehicle, officers found cellphones and blood evidence. They also found that one of his fingerprints matched one found in Edwards’ bedroom, Richard said.

“The linchpin was the blood,” Richard said Friday. “Her blood was in the vehicle he was arrested in in Oklahoma.”

Analysis of the blood evidence was not completed until recently, Richard said.

The arrest warrant in the murder case was issued Thursday, according to Arlington Municipal Court records.

Dixon’s bail totals $525,000 — $25,000 on the weapons charge and $500,000 in the murder case, according to jail records.

Extradited in September

Arlington officers found Edwards’ body after her daughter could not reach her and asked police to check on her. Officers went to the house in the 5300 block of Wild West Drive about 8 p.m.

“Early in the investigation, detectives learned that Dixon was regularly hired by Ms. Edwards to do work around her home,” Richard said. “However, according to multiple witnesses, she was upset that Dixon refused to return a gun that she asked him [to] get repaired for her and that he had not returned the money she gave him for the repair costs.”

After detectives learned June 17 that Dixon had been arrested by the Caddo County Sheriff’s Department in Oklahoma “for unrelated traffic charges,” they went there to interview him. He confirmed that he had been a handyman for Edwards but said he had not been to her house in weeks, Richard said.

Dixon was extradited to Tarrant County on Sept. 23 on a charge of unlawful possession of a firearm by a felon, according to jail records.

That charge relates to his illegally handling Edwards’ gun, Richard said. According to the arrest warrant affidavit, the gun was a small nickel-plated semiautomatic pistol.

Dixon’s criminal record dates to 1994, with convictions for retaliation and two cases of assault injuring a family member — one a misdemeanor, the other a felony.

Edwards’ daughter, Kelly Phillips, could not be reached for comment Friday.

According to an obituary on the Emerald Hills Funeral Home website, Edwards was born in San Antonio, went to high school in Houston and was a longtime resident of Kennedale who worked at Alcon and Lockheed Martin.

“She enjoyed being outdoors, fishing, and skeet shooting and riding her horses,” the obituary said. She was devoted to her dog, Ellie, and cat, Boomer.

Four homicides in June

Edwards’ death was one of four in Arlington in June.

John Ross Shreves, 27, of Plano, a Kennedale Junior High School teacher, was shot in the head in the parking lot of a sports bar on Little Road about 2 a.m. June 10, just hours after Edwards’ body was found. Patrick Brooks, 27, an acquaintance of Shreves’, was arrested within hours. He remained in the Tarrant County Jail on Friday, charged with murder. His bail was set at $100,000.

On June 4, Leona Swafford, 83, was carjacked as she pulled into her driveway in the 400 block of Sussex Drive. She was found dead about 3 miles away. She had been shot and had “blunt force injuries of head with asphyxia,” the medical examiner reported.

And on June 6, Donsha Hughes, 19, was fatally shot in the chest in his driveway. No arrests have been reported in those cases.

Investigators do not believe that the deaths are related, Richard has said.

This report includes material from the Star-Telegram archives.

Bill Miller, 817-390-7684 Twitter: @Bill_MillerST

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