Husband in New Madrid pleads not guilty to charges in his wife's death

Published: Oct. 27, 2016 at 1:20 PM CDT|Updated: Oct. 31, 2016 at 7:02 PM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

NEW MADRID, MO (KFVS) - A New Madrid man has pleaded not guilty to charges in connection to his wife's death.

According to New Madrid Police Chief Joey Higgerson, officers were called out to a home in response to a report of an accidental death around 8:30 p.m. on Wednesday, October 26.

According to the New Madrid County coroner, it happened at a home on Kingshighway and Dawson Road in New Madrid.

The coroner identified the victim as 59-year-old Jane Dawson of New Madrid.

Online records show that Jane Dawson's husband, George, backed over her. Jane Dawson died at the scene.

According to the probable cause statement, when officers arrived at the scene they were met by a "frantic" man identified as George W. Dawson III.

Officers say he pointed to the backyard of the home where the officers said he could see a man on the ground. The officer said he recognized the man as George W. Dawson, Jr.

He said Dawson, Jr. was crying heavily and laying next to a body which was covered by a dark-colored blanket. Dawson, Jr. was said to be holding the right hand of the body.

According to court documents, Dawson III was still distraught and told the officer the woman under the blanket was his mother, Jane Ann Dawson.

The officer reportedly asked the two men to move away from the woman's body and move to a backyard picnic table. Once there, he said he asked Dawson, Jr. to tell him what happened.

According to court documents, Dawson, Jr. explained that he and his wife, Jane Dawson, were arguing. He said his wife tried to attack him with a crucifix while outside their home.

He allegedly told the officer he got into his vehicle and, while his wife was trying to attack him, he drove away, running her over.

According to the officer, he noticed a silver/gray SUV parked at the edge of the Villa Car Wash's parking lot, which is just north of Dawson, Jr.'s back yard.

He said there was what appeared to be sliding hand prints on the hood of the vehicle, damage to the front driver's door of the vehicle and other areas of contact around the vehicle.

The officer said the vehicle was still running and had to be moved to try to preserve evidence because it had started to rain.

Prior to moving the vehicle, the officer said he noticed tire tracks behind the vehicle that indicated it had got it that location from State Highway U.

Sergeants later interviewed Dawson III.

During the interview, they say he told them Dawson, Jr. called him and said he and Dawson III's mother were fighting and arguing.

He allegedly said Dawson, Jr. and his mother argued frequently.

Dawson III told officers Dawson, Jr. asked to come to his house to get away from Jane Dawson. He said Dawson, Jr.'s vehicle pulled into his driveway, honking the horn.

According to court documents, Dawson III learned that his mother and Dawson, Jr. had been in a fight.

Officers say he told them he and Dawson, Jr. drove back to the home where he saw his mother laying in the yard. He told he determined she was dead.

Court documents state he told Dawson, Jr. to go into the house and get a blanket to cover her body.

The sergeants said they learned Dawson, Jr. called Dawson III at about 8:10 p.m. and Dawson III called 911 at about 8:16 p.m.

According to court documents, while on the way to the New Madrid County Sheriff's Department, Dawson, Jr. talked to a patrolman about the incident, and the patrolman did not ask any questions.

Dawson, Jr. allegedly told the patrolman that he and Jane Dawson had been arguing inside the home.

He allegedly said they fought for 42 years, but that he loved her.

According to court documents, he said all he was trying to do was get away from her and get to his son's house.

While standing outside of the sheriff's department, Dawson, Jr. allegedly said that Jane Dawson opened the door of the vehicle and had a crucifix.

He allegedly said that he knew he "knocked her down with the door" and that when he arrived at Dawson III' house, he told him Jane Dawson didn't get  up and the wanted Dawson III to go with him because he didn't want to go back by himself.

Dawson, Jr. allegedly stated, "I thought it'd be me. I really did. All these years I thought it'd be me. I thought she'd kill me. And now I killed her. And I didn't mean to. I might have felt better if I'd meant to."

While at the sheriff's department, a trooper said he could smell a strong odor of alcohol.

Dawson, Jr. allegedly admitted to the trooper that he drank alcohol prior to contact.

George W. Dawson, Jr., 62, is in police custody.

He is facing charges of second degree murder and driving while intoxicated - persistent offender.

Dawson is due back in court on Jan. 9.

Download the KFVS News app: iPhone | Android

Copyright 2016 KFVS. All rights reserved.