"This day is not over yet. I will kill you," Dixie said her husband, Scott, had told her moments after pointing a gun at her that morning. He was shaking, and basically had gone "ballistic," Dixie recalls. He said he "would make sure that I would not have this baby. I'm going to kill this baby. I'm going to kill it," Dixie said her husband raged.
Scott apparently went to lay down in the bedroom. On the way he took the two phones from the kitchen with him.
Son, Zachary, had gone to school. Daughter Ashley was sent to a friend's home. Dixie was alone with her thoughts as Scott lay in the next room.
Should she walk out the door to a neighbor's house and call police?
Would he come after her and beat her again, or drag her back into the house by her hair?
Was there time to get away? Would anyone help?
She'd had enough of the bruises and black eyes. Enough of being tied up in the basement for two days...having to wet herself when she had to go to the bathroom. Enough of the verbal abuse.
Ultimately, she stood up, walked down the hall and entered the bedroom they shared. She was looking for the phone.
"I decided I needed to get the cops in there," she said.
Instead she saw the 16-gauge shotgun Scott had earlier loaded and pointed at her head, lying up against the wall near the phone. She said Scott made a move.
"He made a movement," she said. "I thought he was coming for the gun. I wasn't going to let him do it." So Dixie fired, killing her husband of seven years with a shotgun blast to the back of the head as he lay in bed. "I closed my eyes and shot. I was not going to let him kill me and my baby."
That's what Dixie testified to Tuesday morning in her first-degree murder trial.
The morning events leading to the death of Scott Shanahan at the hands of his wife, Dixie, are conflicting, says Charles Thoman, Assistant Iowa Attorney General, the prosecutor in the case.
Thoman paints a very different picture, utilizing Dixie's own testimony.
Did Scott Shanahan make a move for the gun, he asks? A photograph of his body in bed begs to differ. Scott Shanahan's legs and arms are wrapped around pillows as if he were sleeping. He was shot in the back of the head, Thoman said. His body lay just as it was shot, Dixie admits.
Dixie could have just left, Thoman said.
"All you had to do was get up from that chair, walk 10 feet to the door and walk out of the house," he said. Law enforcement would have responded as it had on three other occasions.
If Scott Shanahan were awake, would he have allowed Dixie to walk across the room, pick up a gun and fire at close range, 2-4 feet, without some sort of self defense?, he asks.
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Dixie set down the gun, closed the door to the bedroom and went back to that blue chair. There she sat, again with her thoughts.
"What did I just do?," she asked herself over and over as the day progressed. "I didn't know what I was going to do."
Eventually, she went back in the bedroom, pulled the sheets up over the dead body, recovered the gun and a telephone, and shut and locked the bedroom door.
She placed a towel under the door. Piled items in front of the door. Placed air fresheners in front of the door. And that's the way the room stayed for 14 months before investigators uncovered Scott Shanahan's decomposed body following execution of a search warrant.
Thoman said the months following Scott Shanahan's shooting show exactly what kind of person Dixie Shanahan is.
* She lied to investigators, friends and others who asked about Scott Shanahan's whereabouts. "That is what I told anyone where he was at -- Atlantic," Dixie testified. She admits not wanting to go to jail.
* Within hours of shooting Scott Shanahan, Dixie went to the No Frills store in Denison and bought groceries, signing Scott Shanahan's name on a Prudential account Dixie allegedly already knew had no money in it.
* She wrote numerous other checks on that same account, totaling nearly $2,000, over the next month.
* When the checks bounced, she wrote to the stores saying Scott didn't live in Defiance anymore.
* Dixie notified the mortgage company via Scott Shanahan's name that he would like his wife's name added to the account.
* She changed air fresheners in front of the door three times over the 14 months.
* She opened and shut the window to the bedroom.
* She sold $10,400 worth of tools, cars, tractors, etc. belonging to Scott and sent the money to Texas, so she could draw government benefits in Iowa that she wasn't entitled to.
* She hid a loaded gun inside the closet of her children's bedroom. "That's where I put it when I came out of there," Dixie testified.
* She left Scott Shanahan's body on that bed to rot for 14 months. You "left him just as he was as you shot him," Thoman said. Answered Dixie, "Yes."
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Dixie became adept at hiding the effects of the beatings.
"I would wear long sleeves so that it wasn't known that I had bruises all over," she said. "I hid it, yes."
The wife of Scott Shanahan and mother of three has chronicled a lifetime of beatings and abuse, dating back to her early years. She allegedly was sexually abused as a youngster for more than 10 years, she testified in court.
She moved to Defiance in 1984, and lived with Scott and his parents. Scott and Dixie began dating.
But throughout the years, the abuse began and escalated, she testified. Scott would beat on his own mother, Dixie said. Whenever Scott got mad, "ultimately I was the one it got taken out on.
"I've had guns pointed at me. I had a lot of bruises on my face, but most of them were on my arms and legs so no one could see them."
Dixie would call the police, and Scott would be arrested for domestic abuse/assault. Every time she would take him back, or she'd move back in. And the violence would continue. One time he threatened to kill her, she said.
"He had me down on the floor with a gun pointed right at my face saying I'm going to kill you," she testified.
Scott would threaten to take the children and run where Dixie would "never be able to find them," she said. He would beat his mother "from head to toe, black and blue."
His typical reaction to anything that bothered him would be violence toward Dixie or his mother, Dixie testified. "Anything would set him off," she said.
What kept Dixie from leaving altogether was her family, she said. "I wanted my family to be together," she said. "I didn't want my kids to not have a father."
Until that fateful day, when it became too much to bear.
Testimony continues this week.