Reported home invasion turns out to be a cover-up in assault on 73-year-old

Published 11:43 am Thursday, July 28, 2022

SALISBURY — A report of a home invasion and assault that left a 73-year-old woman critically injured has turned out to be a fabrication by the woman who actually committed the assault in an effort to deflect blame.

Wednesday afternoon just before 2:30 p.m., deputies from the Rowan County Sheriff’s Office were called to a home on Beagle Club Road by Carrie Elizabeth Dixon, 57, who told deputies she had come home to find her boyfriend’s mother badly beaten and in need of immediate medical attention. Dixon said the victim told her two white men had come to the back door of the house while she was home alone, had forced their way in and then beaten her severely before leaving.

Paramedics treated the victim at the scene before taking her to Novant Health Rowan, from which she was then transferred to Atrium Wake Forest Baptist Health Center in Winston-Salem.

Detectives at the home were beginning to process the crime scene when another woman came out of a room in the back of the house. She initially told deputies her name was Katie Marie Poole, but in the course of the investigation, deputies determined she had given her sister’s name. Her true identity is Shirley Marie Burns. Dixon and Burns are described by deputies as “acquaintances.”

As deputies began to compare physical evidence with what Dixon reported happened, they “became suspicious that the story was being fabricated,” according to sheriff’s office reports.

Meanwhile, when the victim was between medical tests at the hospital, she apparently felt safe enough to tell detectives there that Dixon had convinced her to lie to investigators, and that there had been no break-in. Dixon and Burns were the true attackers.

Both Dixon and Burns, by this time, had reportedly left the home on Beagle Club Road to visit the victim at the hospital. Investigators attempted to catch up with them, and Dixon was taken into custody, but Burns appeared to have walked away from the hospital to nearby apartments, and deputies were unable to find her.

Dixon was taken to the Rowan County Sheriff’s Office for questioning, where she confessed to making up the story about the home invasion. She told investigators she planned the attack because of how her boyfriend and his mother made her feel, citing past emotional and physical abuse, according to reports.

Dixon planned the attack with Burns’ assistance, and the two used a broken cinder block and a metal pipe (the handle of a hydraulic floor jack found on the property) to beat the victim “for nearly five minutes before finally stopping,” according to deputies’ reports. Dixon then convinced the victim to corroborate the story about the break-in.

A spokesman for the sheriff’s office noted that random home invasions are rare, especially in the area of this incident.

The victim’s injuries are reported as life-threatening, and Dixon was charged with assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill or inflict serious injury and felony obstruction of justice. She was held on a $25,000 bond.

Burns, whose last known address is 313 Barbour St., is wanted on the same charges Dixon faces as well as resist and delay of a law enforcement officer. Police ask anyone with information on her whereabouts to call 911 immediately.

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