BAKERSFIELD, Calif. -- The father whose child died this weekend said the boy's injuries were an accident, and he's always been a good father.
Mark Dixon told Eyewitness News he wants to clear his name about a previous charge of child cruelty, and he questions how quickly the injured child was cared for.
"I want people to know that my kids are everything to me, there's nothing that matters more," Dixon said Wednesday. "This is an accident that happened, and they're trying to make it out like it's something else."
Dixon said 4-year-old "Markey" Dixon fell from a table Friday evening. The child suffered head injuries, and emergency crews were called out. Officers said the injuries looked suspicious, but Dixon disputes that.
"Anybody that knows me, know how much I love my kids," he asserted. "You talk to anybody that knows me immediately, they'll tell you."
Mark and his wife, Alexis Dixon, were in court Wednesday afternoon for a hearing about the placement of their 1-year-old son, Alex. That child was put in protective custody after the death of Markey.
Dixon told Eyewitness News the court ruled Alex would stay in protective custody, and the parents will go back to court in several weeks.
Mark and Alexis Dixon lost custody of Markey when he was an infant. Both were charged with "willful cruelty to a child," but the father said he wants to clarify the details of that case.
"That was for being under the influence, but he wasn't not taken care of," Dixon said. "But, I was on parole, and so they sent me back to prison."
Dixon said after getting out of prison, he went through all the necessary steps and requirements to regain custody of his son.
For about two years, the family has been living in a travel trailer next to Cowen's Pet Resort, west of Bakersfield on Stockdale Highway. Dixon said he worked hard to get his life back on track, and make a life for his family. He said it was a good place for his sons.
"They had a little area and everything to play and stuff," it was right next to the dogs in the kennel, and more. "There were chickens, peacocks and geese."
The children's grandmother, Glenda Dixon, told Eyewitness News the boys' mother was in the trailer Friday evening when she heard a noise. Alexis Dixon said Markey fell from a table, she tried to revive him, and couldn't. She said the father was away working.
Kennel owner Kathy Jacobs told Eyewitness News they had employed Mark Dixon for about two years, but he hadn't been working for them for about the last eight months.
Jacobs said Mark Dixon was a "very hard worker," and she called him a "loving and caring" person.
Once emergency crews got to the scene, the father complains his son was first taken to Kern Medical Center, and then transferred to Children's Hospital Central California in Madera.
"I feel like it had been hours before they flew him to another hospital to help him," Mark Dixon said. "I think they were too worried about us, instead of worrying about him." Both Dixon and the child's mother were questioned by officers.
The Sheriff's department reported that once it was determined the child's injuries seemed suspicious, officers were contacted and went to the hospital where "detectives spoke with both parents of the child and obtained their statements." No one has been arrested.
The coroner's office is still working to determine the cause of the child's death. The father insists no one is to blame.
"You can't watch a kid 24-seven, it's a tragic accident," Dixon said.
Dixon has two older children who live out of the area. Damon Dixon, 28, lives in the Midwest.
"He's always been a good dad and loving father," Dixon told Eyewitness News. The son said he's never seen his father raise an angry hand to any kid.
"He's screwed up in his life," Damon Dixon added. "But he never made his kids suffer because of that."
And 19-year-old Amanda Dixon lives in northern California. She told Eyewitness News she stays in almost daily phone contact with her dad.
"I tell my friends how much I miss Dad," the daughter said. "And what a great dad he is."
She also said both the little boys, Markey and Alex, always seemed happy. She last saw them recently at Markey's birthday party.
The child's mother didn't want to comment on his death. She was tearful as her husband talked about what happened, and how the family is dealing with the tragedy. Dixon is pregnant, and the family said the baby is expected to be delivered this week.
Mark Dixon said he wants peace to be able to bury his little son. And he's heart-broken over the loss of the child.
"They say you never can tell your kids you love them enough," Dixon said with tears streaming down his face. "I'm going to miss everything about him."