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Al Jerome Dixon

TEXARKANA, Texas  — A man accused of using a fire extinguisher to beat his mother to death in March 2009 is back in the Bowie County jail after spending years in a state mental hospital.

Al Jerome Dixon, 31, appeared Monday for a pretrial hearing before 202nd District Judge John Tidwell. Dixon was committed to a state hospital in late 2009 by a predecessor of Tidwell's and orders extending his commitment have been periodically issued every year since Dixon's indictment in 2009 by a Bowie County grand jury.

Dixon appeared Monday with Clayton Haas of the Bowie County Public Defender's Office. Haas and First Assistant District Attorney Kelley Crisp said they are still waiting for records detailing Dixon's mental health issues and current level of competency from officials at the state hospital.

At hearings in 2009, Dixon appeared disoriented. At his hearing Monday, Dixon appeared lucid.

Dixon was 21 when he allegedly attacked his mother, Martha Stephens Jenkins, in the kitchen of her home at the Creek Bend Mobile Home Park on March 9, 2009.

Jenkins' body was found by two school-age grandchildren who lived in the home with Jenkins and Dixon, according to a probable cause affidavit. The children allegedly reported that Dixon and Jenkins often quarreled and that a recent dispute centered around Jenkins' request for Dixon to carry bags of groceries into the house.

When Jenkins was found she appeared to have recently returned from a shopping trip. Bags of items were found in her car and kitchen. Her purse was found near the body along with a fire extinguisher.

Dixon faces five to 99 years or life in prison if found guilty of murder.

llarowe@texarkanagazette.com

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