Dixon's siblings, grandfather get wrongful death money

Cary Ashby • Oct 29, 2015 at 12:14 PM

A judge ordered the county to divide about $173,900 in a wrongful death lawsuit between an 11-year-old foster girl's two brothers, her adult half-brother and grandfather.

Connre Dixon died Oct. 18, 2004 after being stabbed to death by her Monroeville foster father, Paul Efaw. He is expected to be released Oct. 15 from the Hocking Correctional Facility after serving three years for voluntary manslaughter.

Huron County Juvenile and Probate Court Judge Timothy Cardwell ruled Tuesday that most of the money about $103,920 will be placed into a special needs trust fund for the younger of Dixon's brothers. The 5-year-old boy is in the custody of his legal guardians, Willard residents Don and Diahanna Shepherd. Another $40,000 will go into a wrongful death trust fund set up for Dixon's 10-year-old brother, who also lives with the Shepherds.

"I think the boys should be the No. 1 priority," Diahanna Shepherd said in March.

Twenty-thousand dollars will be distributed to Scottie Stover, 20, Dixon's half-brother, whom court administrator Chris Mushett said is either deployed in Iraq or training in the Middle East. The remaining $10,000 goes to the girl's grandfather, Dale Stover, of Willard.

Cardwell further ruled Tuesday that Dixon's father, Ronald Dixon failed to maintain contact and support for his daughter for a "significant amount of time," Mushett said. The judge indicated part of that had to do with the elder Dixon's substance abuse problems.

"The judge found he was to receive nothing," Mushett said.

Don Shepherd, in March, said Dixon's father "doesn't really call (and) writes every once in a while."

Connre Dixon's mother, Zandra, 38, died from a drug overdose in November 2005. The Shepherds have had custody of Connre's younger brothers since Nov. 17, 2003.

In March 2007, a jury determined the county should pay $600,000 to Dixon's estate. In mid-October, Visiting Common Pleas Judge Judith Cross ruled to reduce the amount by half a million dollars because she wrote that the original verdict was excessive, saying the jury "lost its way."

There were $91,000 in attorneys' fees and $3,000 went to the fiduciary to the estate.

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