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Daughter recalls fateful fall day

Norwalk Reflector Staff • Oct 28, 2015 at 3:50 PM

Tara Efaw's classmates haven't let her forget that her father was convicted almost two years ago for stabbing 11-year-old foster child Connre Death to death during an Oct. 18, 2004 altercation.

"Almost all the kids in the school" tease me twice a week, Tara told the Reflector during breaks Thursday in the wrongful death lawsuit involving Dixon.

"This has been very stressful. Very stressful," said her mother, Diana, Paul's second wife. "It's very hard on me. It's very hard on my daughter."

The Efaws will be married 20 years in July. The Monroeville couple will be apart during the milestone: Paul is serving three years in prison for voluntary manslaughter, a first-degree felony.

Tara and her mother, Diana, visit him three times a month at the Hocking Correctional Facility.

"I take her out of school because it's important. She wants to see her dad," Diana said, prompting Tara to immediately nod her head in agreement. "I will continue to go three times a month until he comes home."

Paul testified Thursday and described what he remembered about what led to the altercation.

"It brings back a lot of memories," Tara said.

"She was scared that day. She still has nightmares," Diana added.

On Oct. 18, 2004, Dixon came out of the shed with a knife while Tara, Paul and a foster boy were raking leaves in the Efaws' yard. After Dixon showed Paul the knife, which she had behind her back and threatened to kill them, Paul said he turned Dixon away from the other children.

"She chased me back to the barn. I tried to get the knife away from her," said Paul, who sustained a long cut to his left forearm. The bruise still is visible.

Dixon swung the knife and hit the muscle in Paul's arm, leading to the two struggling on the ground, Paul recalled. He doesn't remember actually stabbing Dixon.

"I was in a daze. I couldn't hardly breathe," he told the court. "I don't remember. Everything happened in two minutes or less."

Tara, who was 7 in 2004, estimated her father and Dixon were in the shed between 10 and 15 minutes by themselves. They were out of her line of sight and she couldn't see through the high, side windows which are painted, from where she stood on the porch on the back of the house.

Diana was at work and returned home as paramedics arrived.

Lucas County Deputy Coroner Dr. Diane Scala-Barnett testified Wednesday that Paul Efaw most likely was behind Dixon when he "drove" the knife into her chest and pulled it in and out five times.

A Sandusky psychologist later ruled Paul has post-traumatic stress disorder, which accounts for his memory loss, Diana said.

"He was under his care until he came to prison because the stress he was under," she explained.

"Paul had a real hard time with this. He's not that kind of person," Diana said, adding Paul simply was attempting to get the knife away from Dixon so she wouldn't hurt herself "or anyone else."

"If he remembered (what happened), he would say," Diana said. "He's telling the truth. He always told the truth."

After Paul came out of the shed, he told Tara and the foster boy to call 9-1-1.

"I was thinking he wasn't going to make it because his arm was cut open," Tara said, further saying her father's green shorts "were almost red."

Diana said her husband "doesn't even raise his voice." Tara said the worst punishment she had, which was for lying, was to stay at the kitchen table reading for several hours.

Tara, now 10, remembers liking Dixon when she was first placed in her home. Later, "she started becoming a bully," she added.

Dixon told Tara she was going to be "dead meat" the morning before she was killed. She doesn't know what prompted Dixon to say that.

"In the beginning (Dixon) was a good kid," she said, calling it "the honeymoon period."

"Had we known that she would get that violent, we would not have taken her," Diana said. "I would not have put my family in jeopardy. I think she needed to be with a family without kids.

"She needed a lot of attention. We gave her a lot of attention."

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