Suspect in Abbeville shooting wanted in New Hampshire - - Columbia, South Carolina |

Suspect in Abbeville shooting wanted in New Hampshire

Steven Bixby Steven Bixby

(Concord, New Hampshire-AP) Dec. 10, 2003 - New Hampshire authorities say a suspect in the shooting deaths of two officers in Abbeville County this week was wanted in his former home state.

Steven Bixby, 36, who formerly lived in Haverhill, New Hampshire, and his father, Arthur Bixby, are charged with two counts of murder and one county of conspiracy. Investigators believe the family was angry with the state and federal government about a Highway 72 road widening project. Steven Bixby plead not guilty in an arraignment Tuesday.

Constable Donnie M. Ouzts and Abbeville County Sheriff's Deputy were shot and killed during the course of a nearly 14-hour standoff Monday night at Arthur Bixby's Union Church Road home off Highway 72 in Abbeville County.

Steven Bixby is wanted in New Hampshire on probation violations stemming from two traffic convictions. Grafton County, New Hampshire, Sheriff's Captain Paul Leavitt says Bixby was convicted in 1992 of driving with a revoked license and drunken driving.

Two years later an arrest warrant was issued after Bixby did not contact the state to open a probation case and for not paying his fine. The court renewed the warrant in October, based on the probation violations.

Steven Bixby mentioned New Hampshire's "Live Free or Die" motto as justification for the stand-off earlier this week. He told reporters he'd rather die if he can't be free from police intrusion. Bixby says he was defending his parents' home.

Bixby told reporters in the courtroom that he is a true American, "I love this country. I just can't stand the bastards in it." He says he shot Deputy Danny Wilson because the officer forced his way into his home, "Why did I do it? We didn't do it. They started it, and, if we can't be any freer than that in this country, I would just as soon die. ... A sheriff kicking the door in just cause he had it slammed in his face? He didn't have a warrant."

Bixby continued his defiance over the episode even when questioned about the high price, "Never a regret that my dad had to get shot. I don't know how he's doing. Like I said, he's 74-years-old. We have a right to defend our property." Arthur Bixby was in critical condition Tuesday.

Authorities say Wilson was only visiting the home because transportation workers complained the Bixbys threatened them last week when they began work on widening the road in front of the Bixby home. The state says it purchased the right of way to the Bixby's land from the previous owner more than 40 years ago.

Steven's mother and Arthur's wife, Rita Bixby, was also arraigned Tuesday on a charge of accessory before the fact of murder, conspiracy and failure to report a crime. Rita Bixby told the judge she was not guilty and hung her head when he told her she could face life in prison if convicted.

Stewart says officers found anti-American literature, suicide notes and other items inside the house and the apartment.

posted 10:32am by Chris Rees with AP

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