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State seeks death penalty for mother of 21-month-old girl shot and killed in Hartsville

April Dixon (Source: Darlington County Detention Center) April Dixon (Source: Darlington County Detention Center)

HARTSVILLE, SC (WMBF) – The state is seeking the death penalty for the mother of a 21-month-old girl who was shot and killed in Hartsville in December 2013, officials confirmed Wednesday.

According to Scott Suggs, the Darlington County Clerk of Court, on Wednesday, the state filed to seek the death penalty against April Dixon, 23, for the murder of Madison Dolford, who was allegedly shot in the upper body with a handgun by 40-year-old Timothy Oneal Sanders. Sanders is also charged with murder, and the state is also seeking the penalty against him.

Sanders and Dixon, both of Hartsville, were arrested on Tuesday, December 3, 2013, according to a news release from the Hartsville Police Department.

Sanders was charged with murder and the use of a weapon during the commission of a violent crime. Dixon was charged with misprision of a felony and accessory after the fact. On December 18, Dixon was also charged murder. The SLED arrest warrant states that with malice aforethought, Dixon and Sanders murdered Dolford. The probable cause is based on investigation, witness statements, and evidence at the scene.

Also on December 18, Dixon and Sanders were both charged with conspiracy to commit murder, according to SLED arrest warrants. The warrants state that Dixon and Sanders conspired to murder the victim, and that probable cause for the charges is based on the investigation and evidence recovered from the scene.

Sanders and Dixon were initially arrested on the night of the shooting on narcotics charges, officials stated.

The shooting happened on Bell Avenue in Hartsville around 6 p.m. Investigators rushed to the home after the child's mother called 911 to report the incident. Hartsville Police Chief James Hudson says the woman was hysterical when officers arrived.

Medics rushed the child to the hospital where the coroner pronounced the toddler dead.

Darlington County Coroner Todd Hardee identified the child as Madison Dolford. Hardee said she died from a single gunshot wound. The coroner has ruled the death a homicide.

The South Carolina Law Enforcement Division arrest warrant for Sanders accuses him of shooting Dolford in the upper body with a handgun. Probable cause for the murder charge is based on the investigation, witness statements, and evidence recovered at the scene.

The SLED warrant for Dixon's arrest accuses her of assisting Sanders by intentionally misleading law enforcement about the person who shot Dolford, and by concealing her knowledge upon direct questioning.

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