In February 2008, the authorities rushed to Melissa Oxley’s home after she found her husband, Benjamin “Ben” Oxley shot in the head. As the investigation continued, everything pointed to his ex-wife’s boyfriend, James Matlean. NBC News’ ‘Dateline: While They Were Sleeping’ focuses on how Ben was killed and why his former wife, Dawn Oxley, became a crucial part of the investigation. So, if you’re wondering where she might be today, here’s what we know.
Who is Dawn Oxley?
Ben and Dawn Oxley met sometime in 1997, soon starting a relationship. They married in 1999 and had a daughter together, Alyssa, who was six years old at the time of the incident. However, the couple divorced in 2004, with Ben marrying Melissa Oxley in 2006. After the separation, he received full custody of Alyssa, and Dawn had to pay monthly child support. As a result, Ben and her relationship was fraught with discord.
At around 3:30 AM on February 21, 2008, Melissa called 911 after finding Ben with a shotgun wound to his head in their bedroom. When looking at possible suspects, she pointed to an ex-boyfriend of Dawn’s, but that person was ruled out. Then, a few months into the investigation, the police revisited Dawn, who had been living with James Matlean, her boyfriend.
The authorities realized that Dawn and James had lied about their alibis and began to look closely at them. Eventually, in August 2009, the former came forward with information and said, “If I confess to the murder of my ex-husband, will you put me in prison?” As a result, she was given immunity from prosecution for her testimony. Dawn told the police she was angry with Ben, yet she never asked James to kill him.
According to Dawn, she only mentioned wanting Ben to fall off the face of the earth. She further claimed that when James asked her if she wanted her former spouse murdered, she said no. According to witnesses, James and Dawn had been drinking the night before the murder. Moreover, her son told the police that the two were planning Ben’s death so she could gain Alyssa’s custody and stop paying child support.
Nevertheless, Dawn denied all of that, claiming to have fallen asleep on the couch that night and said James woke her up later by saying, “It’s done.” After that, she said she followed James to his mother’s house because he wanted to leave his car there. As for her last contact with Ben, Dawn said she had not met him in weeks, only seeing him for Alyssa’s visits. She added, “I try to avoid him. He’s my ex-husband, and we didn’t have a wonderful life together.”
Where is Dawn Oxley Today?
Dawn’s testimony eventually led to James’ conviction for murdering Ben. Albeit, the latter admitted to the shooting, and he claimed she was the mastermind. James stated that Dawn wanted both Ben and Melissa dead and was with him before and during the murder, but ultimately, she denied the allegations. Over the years, Dawn has had trouble with the law and has been in and out of prison.
Starting in October 2009, Dawn was in prison for six months on a probation violation; she had her second DUI and had a domestic battery conviction in the past. In October 2011, she was sentenced to serve 90 months in prison after she pled no contest to allowing a child to be present during the commission of a controlled substance violation.
The child in question was Dawn’s then 15-year-old daughter. It was reported that she was released in 2014 and has since maintained a low profile. From what we can tell, Dawn goes by a different name now and lives in Las Vegas, Nevada. She previously worked as a server at a diner, and social media indicates she is interested in motorcycles.
Read More: Where is James Matlean Now?