Republican Lawmaker Who Resigned Following Assault Allegations Commits Suicide

January 09, 2018Jan 09, 2018

NBC News reports that an Idaho Republican state lawmaker was found dead on Tuesday. Brandon Hixon had resigned from the Idaho Legislature because he was under investigation for possible sexual abuse.

Authorities say he died in an apparent suicide. Canyon County Coroner Vicki DeGeus-Morris said Brandon Hixon was found dead of a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head in his Caldwell home early Tuesday morning. NBC says a family member discovered his remains.

Hixon, 36, was one of the youngest lawmakers elected to the Idaho House of Representatives. He was elected in 2012.

He "flew relatively under the radar during his time in the Statehouse," says NBC, until October when he abruptly resigned from office. His resignation came after reports broke he was the subject of a criminal investigation for possible sexual abuse.

The Attorney General's office was overseeing the investigation. However, they declined to comment on Hixon or his death on Tuesday when contacted by The Associated Press.

When Hixon resigned, he released a statement. However, he did not explain his motivation.

"I hope that my efforts have helped improve the lives of my constituents in District 10, as well as all Idahoans," wrote Hixon. "I will never forget all of my colleagues that I very much enjoyed working side by side with to make Idaho a better place for all."

After he left office, Hixon was arrested twice for drunken driving. On the second occurrence, on Saturday, December 9th, 2017, Hixon was arrested by the Ada County Sheriff's Office for driving under the influence and resisting arrest. He was charged with a misdemeanor.

The Associated Press obtained records that showed the 2017 investigation, which started on October 5th, was not the police's first look into Hixon. In 2014, he was accused of inappropriate touching. It's unknown if the 2017 and 2014 investigations are connected.

"At the time, Hixon denied the accusations and told police he was worried the allegations would harm his political career," noted NBC.

Hixon is survived by his four children, whose ages range from 6 to 17.

House Speaker Scott Bedke announced Hixon's apparent suicide to House members during Tuesday's floor session. After the announcement, the House chaplain them in a prayer.

"We should support those who are close to us when they are struggling," Bedke said. "Please remember Brandon's family in your prayers."

The House Speaker later revealed that the House will likely organize some sort of financial relief for Hixon's family. However, he said it was too early to say what exactly was planned.

Other lawmakers also reached out to offer their condolences.

"Very saddened by the about news Rep. Hixon. I wish I had followed the promptings I received and called with words of kindness and encouragement," said Rep. Bryan Zollinger, R-Idaho Falls, in a tweet. "Reminder to us all to love one another despite differences of opinion."

Others wished for peace for Hixon and his family.

"Still stunned and shocked. I didn't always agree with Rep. Hixon, but I could work with and talk to him," said Rep. John McCrostie, D-Boise, in a tweet. "That's seriously a big deal. Hope you find some peace, Brandon. Condolences and prayers to his family including his children."

Please say a prayer for his family. It's a sad loss for his four children. 

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