Pa. Man Faces 2 Murder, Kidnap Charges
Apr. 21, 2003
REHRERSBURG, Pa. (AP) _ A man accused of kidnapping his 13-year-old niece after killing her parents may have been obsessed with the girl, authorities said.
Robert Lee Hixson, 42, was captured Sunday after a chase and four-hour standoff with police. He is charged with killing his wife's brother, and the brother's wife at their Pocono Mountains home before abducting their daughter, Hadley.
``There is some evidence of an obsession of a sexual nature with the 13-year-old,'' Monroe County District Attorney Mark P. Pazuhanich said.
Hixson was arraigned on two counts of criminal homicide. He sat shaking in the chair during the brief hearing, quietly answering questions from a judge. He was sent to the Monroe County Correctional Facility without bail.
Pazuhanich said sexual assault, kidnapping and burglary charges would also be filed, the Pocono Record reported. Pazuhanich told the paper he would likely seek the death penalty against Hixson.
Myron L. ``Butch'' Bilger, 40, identified Hixson as the shooter before he died, said Pocono Mountain Regional Police Detective Harry Lewis. Hixson shot Bilger and his wife, Ellen Bilger, at their Pocono Lake home Saturday, authorities said. A 5-year-old daughter ran next door to get help while Hixson drove off with Hadley, police said.
Police issued a statewide Amber Alert for Hadley. The alert led to a tip that Hixson's red pickup truck was spotted in Berks County, about 90 miles southwest of the girl's home in Pocono Lakes, police said.
Police used tire-flattening devices to disable the vehicle after a high-speed chase. Hixson pulled into a parking lot where he released Hadley but held police at bay and pointed his gun at himself.
A police negotiator helped end the standoff. State troopers said Hixson never pointed his gun at them, and that if he had he likely would have been shot.
Hixson's mother-in-law said Hixson is unemployed. He has been married to her daughter for about eight years and has four sons, including one by her daughter, she said.
Donna Faye Bilger said her son had caught Hixson driving with Hadley about two weeks ago. ``Butch yanked her out of the truck,'' she said. She said that charges were filed, but neither police nor the prosecutor could immediately confirm the account.
On Saturday, Hixson dropped his wife off at his mother-in-law's home a few hours before the shootings.
Police who later came to her house found that two of her husband's weapons, including a shotgun, were missing from a locked cabinet, Donna Faye Bilger said. She did not know when they were taken.
Both victims died from shotgun blasts to the abdomen, police said.
According to court records, in 1979 Hixson abused his 4-month-old daughter from a prior relationship, breaking her skull, ribs and leg, the Pocono Record reported.
In 1993, he attacked a young woman with a claw hammer, repeatedly hitting her in the head, and was sentenced to two to four years for aggravated assault, the paper said.