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Dispute Over Land Prompts 13-Hour Standoff Between a Family and Deputies; Two Officers Killed
AP via TBO ^ | December 9,2003 | Jeffrey Collins

Posted on 12/09/2003 2:56:08 AM PST by John W

ABBEVILLE, S.C. (AP) - A father and son angered by a state plan to seize some of their land allegedly shot and killed an officer who went to the home, sparking a 13-hour standoff that ended in a "horrendous gunfight" in which another officer was killed, authorities and neighbors said. At least 100 officers surrounded the rural home of Arthur Bixby in western South Carolina on Monday. Bixby's wife then holed up in an apartment in town and threatened to shoot bystanders if her husband or son were injured; she was promptly arrested, State Law Enforcement Division Chief Robert Stewart said.

It began Monday morning when a magistrate's officer went to the house in a rural part of the state to follow up on an incident from the previous week involving a dispute between Department of Transportation workers and someone from the house, officials said.

When the officer failed to return, two deputies went to the Bixby home looking for him.

What happened next is unclear, but the deputies called for help and law enforcement officials surrounded the home, and the standoff began.

Eleven hours later, officers unsuccessfully tried to storm the home and were shot at with powerful weapons, Stewart said.

"I've never seen so much force," Stewart said. None of the family members tried to negotiate with officers during the standoff.

"This was planned," Stewart said.

The gunfight lasted about 10 minutes and police fired tear gas inside the home. Bixby's son, 36-year-old Steven Bixby, surrendered. Two hours later, officers entered the home and arrested Arthur Bixby, who apparently was wounded in the gunfight. He was hospitalized and his condition was not available early Tuesday.

No formal charges had been filed as of early Tuesday.

At some point during the standoff, the Bixbys destroyed two remote control robots authorities sent into the house to figure out what was happening, Stewart said.

Inside the home, authorities found a dead deputy and what they described as anti-American literature and suicide notes. Similar material also was found inside the apartment in town where Bixby's wife was arrested. Authorities did not say whose apartment it was.

Stewart said the family had prepared for the standoff and fortified the house's doors to make it harder for police to break in.

Authorities identified the two dead officers as Danny Wilson and Donnie M. Ouzts.

Ouzts apparently had been shot from a distance with a rifle, state Public Safety spokesman Sid Gaulden said; Wilson was found inside the home. Authorities would not say which one first went to the house.

Gene Land, Bixby's neighbor who lives about a half-mile away, said Steven Bixby was angry because the state planned to take some of his land to widen the highway. The Bixbys had lived in the house for more than 10 years, Land said.

A dispute Thursday between state transportation workers and someone from the home on Highway 72 precipitated the incident, DOT spokesman Pete Poore said.

AP-ES-12-09-03 0519EST


TOPICS: Crime/Corruption; News/Current Events; US: South Carolina
KEYWORDS: dontshootacop; property; propertyrights
Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
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To: archy
I understand the sentiment completely.
101 posted on 12/09/2003 12:41:47 PM PST by sauropod (I believe Tawana! Sharpton for Prez! Slap the Donkey or Spank the Monkey? Your Choice)
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To: John W
Update from the Anderson Independent Mail

Planned standoff kills two
Father and son surrendered in flurry of bullets

By Charmaine Smith
Independent-Mail
December 9, 2003

ABBEVILLE — Two law enforcement officers were killed in a shooting that led to an all-day standoff between officers and gunmen inside an Abbeville home Monday that ended in "a horrendous gunfight."

The standoff at the corner of S.C. 72 and Union Church Road ended shortly after 11 p.m., about 14 hours after it started, with the surrender of Arthur Bixby.

Mr. Bixby’s son, Steven Vernon Bixby, surrendered shortly after countless gunshots were fired upon the house about 9 p.m. The elder Bixby surrendered after a second round of tear gas and bullets about 11 p.m., State Law Enforcement Division Chief Robert Stewart said.

"They never negotiated with us," Mr. Stewart said.

Donnie Ouzts, 63, of the Abbeville County Magistrate’s Office, was found dead early Monday several yards away from the house.

Abbeville County Sheriff Charles Goodwin said Mr. Ouzts went to the house Monday morning apparently in an attempt to resolve a property dispute. When Mr. Ouzts didn’t respond to dispatchers, two other deputies with the sheriff’s office responded to the house.

Danny Wilson, an Abbeville County Sheriff’s Office deputy from Calhoun Falls, was found dead inside the house after officers stormed the home just before 9 p.m., Chief Stewart said.

The second deputy, who was not identified, escaped uninjured and was back on the scene trying to negotiate with the gunman later in the afternoon, Sheriff Goodwin said.

Chief Stewart, in a briefing to members of the media about 11:15 p.m., said the shooters apparently had planned the attack. Two other people in the house — Steven Bixby’s mother and her mentally disabled son — were taken to the Abbeville Arms apartment complex and told to remain there.

The chief said the two were told to "start shooting at people" if they heard of any violence at the Union Church Road home and that suicide notes, wills and anti-government literature were found inside the house.

Chief Stewart said officers first had to stabilize the scene at the apartment complex before opening a more aggressive stance at the house.

Steven Bixby and his mother, whose name was not available late Monday, had been taken into custody. Arthur Bixby apparently suffered a gunshot wound around 11 p.m. and was transported to the hospital.

"I go to every bad SWAT call myself, and I’ve never been under this type of gunfire before in my 30 years with SLED," Chief Stewart said.

The standoff’s first known victim, Mr. Ouzts, was a state constable, officers used by agencies on an as-needed basis. Any individual can become a constable if he or she completes a small amount of required training, Anderson County Sheriff Gene Taylor said.

But Abbeville County Magistrate Tommy Ferguson said a check of the office’s logs did not indicate Mr. Ouzts was there to serve papers at the residence. Although he didn’t know for sure, Mr. Ferguson suspected that his employee of eight years was simply there to help other law enforcement officials on the scene.

A state Department of Transportation spokesman said Monday’s standoff followed an incident last week involving a man at the house and several workers. The man was upset with plans to widen S.C. 72 in front of the house.

Little information was available about the Bixbys Monday except from friends and neighbors at the scene, who gave differing accounts.

Johnny Copelend, owner of B.J.’s Bar and Grill located near the scene, said Steven Bixby was a regular customer at his bar and that he would never have expected him to be part of what transpired Monday.

"He’s a nice guy. He got along with everybody in here," Mr. Copelend said.

A neighbor, Gene Land, said Steven Bixby has lived in Abbeville for the past 12 or 15 years, after moving from New Hampshire. Mr. Land said the 36-year-old Mr. Bixby was unpredictable and that he wasn’t too surprised by the turn of events.

"Some days he was a friendly as he could be and other days he wasn’t," he said.

He said Steven Bixby was disabled after hurting his back while working at Flexible Technologies about four years ago. He most recently worked as a food vendor at carnivals and festivals, Mr. Land said.

A food-vending trailer was visible outside the house Monday, where FBI, State Law Enforcement Division, and Greenwood and Abbeville city and county officials were part of the standoff throughout the day.

About 8:30 p.m., a fire was started at the end of the house, lighting up the home with an orange glow. At 8:48 p.m., about seven shots were fired. Two minutes later, more shots were fired in rapid succession.

Subsequent rounds of shots rang out shortly before 9 p.m. and movement around the house was visible. A gaseous substance then filled the air, choking workers on the scene and forcing people on the scene into their cars or out of the area.

A restaurant close to the scene gave out tea to help people fleeing from the gas.

Lance Cpl. Steve Sleuder, a South Carolina Highway Patrol spokesman, was one of the first people on the scene Monday morning. He found Mr. Ouzts on the ground outside the house and positioned a patrol car between Mr. Ouzts and the house to retrieve the officer from the scene. He had blood on his pants.

"We got him out of there," Cpl. Sleuder said.

Before news of Mr. Wilson’s death, at least 30 family and friends of the slain deputy had gathered near the magistrate’s office Monday evening. Family members who did not want to be identified said they had received no information from police.

The shooters inside the house had an AR-15 assault rifle, capable of penetrating a bullet-proof vest, and a 7-mm. Magnum, Chief Stewart said.

The chief said officers used every means possible to negotiate with the gunman. SLED had an armored personnel vehicle on the scene. Welders arrived on the scene in the afternoon to install a battering ram on the front of the vehicle. Officers also used a loudspeaker to communicate with the gunman. Psychiatrists also were on the scene.

Officers had a robot designed to get closer to the scene without putting any officers in danger. About 5 p.m., officers could be heard over the loudspeaker saying:

"Steven, I told you we were not going to leave you. I want you to come out."


Also from the Anderson Independent Mail

Standoff preceded by threats last week over road project

By Nicholas Charalambous
Independent-Mail
December 8, 2003

The man at the center of a police shooting and hostage taking in Abbeville County threatened workers with the state Department of Transportation with physical violence just three days before.

Transportation Department spokesman Pete Poore said a man last Thursday uprooted stakes to be used in the widening and realignment of S.C. 72 in front of the 4 Union Church Road home where Steve Bixby held off police Monday.

Last Thursday, someone in the house saw transportation department employees placing the stakes, came outside and made threats of physical violence that were considered serious enough for the local transportation department office to advise the Abbeville County Sheriff’s Office, Mr. Poore said.

"I don’t know exactly what he said," Mr. Poore said about the man. "He pulled the stakes out of the ground and threw them in the middle of the road."

The state had purchased all the needed right of way from the home’s previous owner, Haskell Johnson, in August 1960, when S.C. 72 was first conceived as a potential four-lane highway from Clinton to Atlanta, officials said.

The home, now titled in the name of Rita and Arthur Bixby, was purchased from Mr. Johnson’s estate in 1999, according to court records.

Construction near the Bixby home was set to begin Tuesday or Wednesday Mr. Poore said.

The existing highway, cutting diagonally in front of the Bixby property, was to be torn up and replaced by the new five-lane highway, planned to run farther away from and parallel to the home, according to a right of way map.

"He would have come out better," Mr. Poore said.

Planning for the first stretch of improvements to S.C. 72 through the town of Abbeville between S.C. 28 and Secondary Road 103 began in 2000 or 2001, according to Mr. Poore and Rick Green, a director at the Upper Savannah Council of Governments involved in the project.

The $9.46 million widening, part of a joint vision of Georgia and South Carolina transportation officials, was seen as a way to develop an alternate commercial corridor to Interstate 85 that could spur economic and industrial development, Mr. Green said.

No records were immediately available to indicate any objections lodged by the Bixby household against the project at official public hearings, Mr. Poore said. Mr. Green and Abbeville Assistant City Manager Nolan Wiggins also said they didn’t recall the project arousing any unusual hostility among local residents.

102 posted on 12/09/2003 1:10:07 PM PST by aomagrat (IYAOYAS)
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To: sauropod
Further info in #102.
103 posted on 12/09/2003 2:20:22 PM PST by Ben Ficklin
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To: sauropod
I agree.
You may find this interesting-
http://www.thecarolinachannel.com/index.html

On the front page there are 2 links to video of the son in custody. He explains his POV a little.
104 posted on 12/09/2003 3:34:23 PM PST by visualops (The costs of fighting the War on Terror are significant -the costs of not fighting are unimaginable.)
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To: Cultural Jihad
As if cold-blooded murderous kooks are pro-Constitution.

You're talking about the police, right?

105 posted on 12/09/2003 3:39:21 PM PST by Trickyguy
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To: John W
Yes "take". Wake up people, this may happen to you. This happened to my family a while back but we fought it in court and won, except it cost us 60,000 dollars in lawyer fees and court costs. Emenant Domain is still alive and well in America.
106 posted on 12/09/2003 3:45:24 PM PST by fish hawk
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To: Skywalk
They probably had a few Ann Coulter books laying around. LOL
107 posted on 12/09/2003 3:46:34 PM PST by fish hawk
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To: aomagrat
Nice post, clears up a lot of questions I had.

My verdicts in. Murdering lunatics who can't read a deed.

108 posted on 12/09/2003 3:56:19 PM PST by jwalsh07
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To: jwalsh07

But that small fact doesn't stop the anarcho-ideologues from cheering them on.

Did you also visit the video website linked in #104? The son ranted about how they killed in self-defense, as if building a road on land legally sold to the good people of South Carolina by the previous owner gives these lunatics a right to commit murder.


"It was self-defense! They pounded stakes into the ground!"

109 posted on 12/09/2003 4:16:57 PM PST by Cultural Jihad
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To: Cultural Jihad
What information do you have that this was a case of cold blooded murder?

You sure are quick to kiss the governments ass, what color's your nose?
110 posted on 12/09/2003 4:30:09 PM PST by Fearless Flyers (Proud to be of The Brave and the Free, http://fearless-flyers.com)
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To: Fearless Flyers

Those mug shots are not there because they donated too much money to the Boy Scouts.

111 posted on 12/09/2003 4:31:51 PM PST by Cultural Jihad
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To: aomagrat

"Pssst. Don't show your hand. Don't let them know how much you resent their fascist takeover of the street, lest they round you up and hang you for being a True UberPatriot. Keep your powder dry, and bide your time. They're placing mind-control devices in the gutters, and are beaming their wicked signals into your home. But don't fret. Your day of vengeance will come. Live free or die! Live free and kill!"

...

"Pssst. Look at how mean the Blue Meanies were to those harmless old people. They had no right. They were probably coveting the pirate gold buried under their old peach tree. It's all so unfair, just like when your step-daddy used to beat you and place you all hungry in the dark cellar. You should post a reply, and throw in a nasty jab at the fascist government which is all hell-bent on personally making your life miserable."

112 posted on 12/09/2003 4:45:02 PM PST by Cultural Jihad
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To: Fearless Flyers; Cultural Jihad
Can we please try to keep it civil? I am enjoying not having to moderate and I would hate to have to change my plans.

Thanks.

113 posted on 12/09/2003 4:46:19 PM PST by Lead Moderator
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To: aomagrat
The shooters inside the house had an AR-15 assault rifle, capable of penetrating a bullet-proof vest, and a 7-mm. Magnum, Chief Stewart said.

Hmmm I like the way they dismiss the 7mm and dont give it a disclaimer like the AR-15.

Anyone whos ever been hunting knows a 7mm magnum is far far more powerful than an AR-15, well at least they do after reading this.
114 posted on 12/09/2003 5:22:08 PM PST by Sabretooth (I'm not SabERtooth, Im SabREtooth.)
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To: jwalsh07
Darn! When, O, when will the ideologues find a posterboy for their fringed anti-self-governance cause!?
115 posted on 12/09/2003 7:44:59 PM PST by Cultural Jihad
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To: aomagrat
> The state had purchased all the needed right of way from the home’s previous
> owner, Haskell Johnson, in August 1960, when S.C. 72 was first conceived
> as a potential four-lane highway from Clinton to Atlanta, officials said.

I guess this sums it up. The killers did not even own the land they were "defending". So much for the killers having something "taken" from them.

116 posted on 12/10/2003 5:55:41 AM PST by jim_trent
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To: Cultural Jihad
Did you listen to all of the video? He said that the constable kicked in the door after having it slammed in his face.......no warrants......not smart!!!!!
117 posted on 12/10/2003 9:06:32 AM PST by countrydummy
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To: countrydummy
Paranoia Strikes Deep
Into your heart it will creep
118 posted on 12/10/2003 11:41:17 AM PST by Ben Ficklin
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To: Ben Ficklin
Just take you haldol, it will help you with your paranoia! :)
119 posted on 12/10/2003 11:49:49 AM PST by countrydummy
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To: countrydummy
I'm sure that you would know.
120 posted on 12/10/2003 1:17:00 PM PST by Ben Ficklin
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To: countrydummy
Did you listen to all of the video? He said that the constable kicked in the door after having it slammed in his face.......no warrants......not smart!!!!!

Yeah, it's generally pretty stupid to slam the door in the constable's face after threatening highway construction workers on state land.

121 posted on 12/10/2003 2:25:02 PM PST by Poohbah ("Beware the fury of a patient man" -- John Dryden)
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To: Ben Ficklin
Yes I do, I am under threat myself! By DOH and the NPS!
122 posted on 12/10/2003 2:27:05 PM PST by countrydummy
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To: Poohbah
it was more stupid for the sheriff to kick the door in without warrants!
123 posted on 12/10/2003 2:27:50 PM PST by countrydummy
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To: countrydummy
it was more stupid for the sheriff to kick the door in without warrants!

Actually, it may or may not have been. After communicating death threats, slamming the door in the constable's face may very well raise a necessity defense on the issue of unwarranted entry--i.e., the constable had reason to believe that Bixby posed an immediate threat to the life and limb of others.

Contrary to popular belief, threats of extralegal violence are not protected speech.

124 posted on 12/10/2003 2:30:05 PM PST by Poohbah ("Beware the fury of a patient man" -- John Dryden)
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To: Slings and Arrows
Yep...Odd..I figured this was another of those Texas ' sovereignty' goofballs.

125 posted on 12/10/2003 2:30:30 PM PST by tcuoohjohn (Follow The Money)
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To: countrydummy
Unfortunately we wonn't be able to hear that man's side of the story since he got bushwhacked by your mad dog heroes.
126 posted on 12/10/2003 2:31:42 PM PST by Ben Ficklin
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To: Ben Ficklin
Unfortunately we wonn't be able to hear that man's side of the story since he got bushwhacked by your mad dog heroes.

He was apparently shot in the back while cuffed.

Some "heroes."

127 posted on 12/10/2003 2:32:30 PM PST by Poohbah ("Beware the fury of a patient man" -- John Dryden)
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To: Joe Hadenuf
There is one other thing that needs to be taken into account. People become attached to their land. Now the story said the family had been there 10 years, but look what happened at the Darby. Family farms that had been owned by the same families for 300 were going to be taken through eminent domain for a 'wildlife refuge' run by a non-governmental organziation-- thats corruption.

In California churches property is taken by eminent domain so that private developers can make money off them, absolute corruption.

Years ago in this country there was more respect for private property and all citizens participated in discussions about using eminent domain, and made dang sure that eminent domain was used for the right reasons and not as a political payback to some developer or other contributor.
128 posted on 12/10/2003 2:49:22 PM PST by hedgetrimmer
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To: Ben Ficklin
You know that really does not even deserve a reply....except this one.
129 posted on 12/10/2003 2:51:04 PM PST by countrydummy
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To: hedgetrimmer
Well, the guy who owned the land in 1960 sold an easement to the state of South Carolina. The folks who bought it in 1994 apparently couldn't read a plat.
130 posted on 12/10/2003 2:51:35 PM PST by Poohbah ("Beware the fury of a patient man" -- John Dryden)
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To: Poohbah
Did he sell the easement then sell the land not telling the owners of this? Does the easement remain part of the property until the time it is to be taken? Does the deed have to show that the new owners purchased a land with an easement on it that could be exercised while they hold the property? There could have been a crooked deal, the deed might not have declared the easement since it was done in 1960 who knows?
131 posted on 12/10/2003 3:00:51 PM PST by hedgetrimmer
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To: hedgetrimmer
Did he sell the easement then sell the land not telling the owners of this?

Since the surveyor's plat gets updated with the easement, it's part of the due diligence while the property is in escrow. When I bought my new home last year, I had the sidewalk easement spelled out in mind-numbing detail by the escrow agent when I signed the closing papers.

Does the easement remain part of the property until the time it is to be taken?

Generally, once the easement is sold, the easement goes into effect immediately, and anything on that easement is now at risk.

Does the deed have to show that the new owners purchased a land with an easement on it that could be exercised while they hold the property?

Yes.

There could have been a crooked deal, the deed might not have declared the easement since it was done in 1960 who knows?

Trust me, they knew about easements and recording them in 1960, even in poor, benighted South Carolina. My house was build in 1966, and the easement for the sidewalk was spelled out to within an inch of the easement's life. Since the state owned the easement, it was undoubtedly recorded on the surveyor's plat filed at the county assessor's office.

132 posted on 12/10/2003 3:06:56 PM PST by Poohbah ("Beware the fury of a patient man" -- John Dryden)
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To: John W
How terrible. Imminent domain is something everyone knows exists, and they have to pay you market value. To kill law officers over this is just horrendous. These were obviously deranged people.
133 posted on 12/10/2003 3:10:58 PM PST by ladyinred (The Left have blood on their hands!)
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To: visualops
These photos from a photojournalist's perpective


A SLED attack vehicle moves into position beside the house with the gunman which is in the background, on the left. . SWAT officers can be seen beside another house to the right which was not involved in the shooting. STAFF photo by Owen Riley Jr.

This photo is taken from at least 1/2 mile away with an extreme telephoto lens of 400mm or greater.
1.The gunman's house is at the left. We cannot see his front yard.
2.The exteme lens distorts the apparent distances, so there is no way to accuately judge how close the house on the right is to the road. The two swat members are some distance from the road judging from the apparent height of the dirt mound which is actually only two or three feet high as evidenced by the squad on the left.(The dirt appears to get higher as it gets closer to the photographer on the right.)
3. There are 5 distinct visual planes. The out off focus foliage which is close to the photographer, the road with the street sign. The squad. The near house and APC. The Bixby house.
One of two robots controlled by SLED rests beside a sheriff's car near the SWAT command. STAFF photo by Owen Riley Jr.

This is taken some distance away. This was taken with a shorter lens, 200mm judging from the apparent distance between the squads.


AT SWAT command law enforcement officers gather Monday afternoon. The van to the left is where officers are controlling the SLED robot which was on the front porch of the shooter's home. according to Sid Gaulden , PIO for public safety.

This is also some safe distance away from the Bixby house. The building to the right is apparently a church or business, judging by the design of the windows and the sign visible in the background. The photographer was not very far away from the officers, which also indicates it was a safe distance from the Bixby house.


A sniper can be seen on the ground to the left, where Highway 72 is being widened across from the house where the shooting occured. Monday. STAFF photo by Owen Riley Jr.

This gives a good example of the distortion of a very long telephoto lens. There are no landmarks to show how close the Bixby house is from the road.



Fire bombs go off as SWAT members storm the house on Highway 72 in Abbeville. STAFF photo by Owen Riley Jr.

Again, it is very hard to tell how close the Bixby house is to the road, but there is room for a squad to park between the road and the front of the house.

134 posted on 12/10/2003 3:43:38 PM PST by MediaMole
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To: Poohbah
I read that the loons purchased the home in 1999.
135 posted on 12/10/2003 4:27:20 PM PST by Cultural Jihad
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Federal statues forbid the taking real and personal. 42 usc 1982; Property rights of citizens. www.landrights.com.
136 posted on 12/10/2003 6:05:25 PM PST by Comcast
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To: Cultural Jihad
....but if you refuse to pay your income tax, eventually
people with guns will come to arrest you.
the power of government is the power of the gun.
you sound like an obedient sheeple slave to me.
137 posted on 12/10/2003 6:43:25 PM PST by jart (smash statism)
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To: Cultural Jihad
May turn out to be the only option; until everybody else figures out where you live.
138 posted on 12/10/2003 7:07:35 PM PST by Old Professer
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To: Ben Ficklin
Anybody who knows anything knows that governments steal land, what's your point?
139 posted on 12/10/2003 7:09:59 PM PST by Old Professer
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To: visualops
At least the cops used the same fire bombs used at Mt. Carmel near Waco 19 April 1993.

When people get cornered, they lash out. The poor cop was doing his his job and was killed by people screwed by the authorities.

Clever shooting to take out the toys.

FYI: More and more real estate is condemned for use by more profitable or higher sales tax income enterprises for the state, at, below, or above market value estimates. However, true market value is established by a cooperative buyer and seller.

Some government employees involved in the condemnation negotiations then take jobs with the businesses directly benefitting from the condemnations. - This corruption is an excellent example of fascism in America.

We do not know what happened, but in today's agenda reporting, IMO, a copy of our Declaration of Independnence and Bill of Rights is anti-government because it is pro-ratified Constitution.
140 posted on 12/10/2003 7:28:16 PM PST by SevenDaysInMay (Federal judges and justices serve for periods of good behavior, not life. Article III sec. 1)
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To: jart
"If you break valid, Constitutional laws, eventually people with guns will come to arrest you."

Go cry me a river, and take your whine to Handgun Control, Inc.

141 posted on 12/10/2003 7:45:42 PM PST by Cultural Jihad
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To: the gillman@blacklagoon.com
But Justice dept lawyers refused to search Mossaoui's computer in the weeks before 9-11.

142 posted on 12/10/2003 7:45:48 PM PST by At _War_With_Liberals (This is the 1st US election in which a global party (socialists) are trying to win a US election)
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To: John W; sauropod
Update 12-11

http://www.thecarolinachannel.com/news/2696793/detail.html

Abbeville County's Highway 72 was still wide open. The phones hadn't started blaring yet. Police radios were cackling, but the messages were not yet as dire. It was just before 9:30 a.m. on Dec. 8, and a legal assistant in the South Carolina Attorney General's Office was checking her voice mail.
Rita O'Neal punched the keys on her phone that led to a waiting message.
"Yes, Rita, this is Rita Bixby." The voice on the record message was familiar.
"I live at 4 Union Church Road at the junction of 72 and the corner of Horton Drive. I've talked to you before, and they have, the state has decided they were going to come in and take our property."
"My husband and my son are there and there is a shootout going on because they're not going to take our land. No one has approached us and asked us if they could negotiate or anything. They just simply came onto our land and started taking it and there is a shootout there."
O'Neal eventually remembered who Rita Bixby was. She was the mother of a 36-year-old man who had been fighting extradition to his home state of New Hampshire. O'Neal had last spoken to the Bixby family in September.
But now it was Dec. 8 and if what the voice on the message said was true, something very wrong was happening in Abbeville County.
----snip---
Within minutes, Senior Assistant Attorney General Sonny Jones had listened to the message. Minutes later, O'Neal was on the phone with Abbeville County Sheriff Charles Goodwin. She told him what the Bixby woman had said in the message. As she talked, Goodwin interrupted her.
In a report she submitted to her superiors later, O'Neal wrote, "He...said he would have to call me back...there was an officer down."

”Live Free Or Die!”

Rita's son Steven Bixby had a lot of love for the state of New Hampshire. Or, at least, he said he did.
Just a day after the Abbeville County coroner took two beloved law enforcement officer into the morgue, the squat 36-year-old alleged killer stood in a magistrate's courtroom and declared, "I'm originally from New Hampshire where the motto is 'Live Free or Die!'"
Bixby would go on to cite from the New Hampshire constitution and use it as source material for his perceived right to revolution. What he did not tell the assembled law enforcement officials and reporters was that if he had been living in New Hampshire, he would not be as free as he might have wanted.
The fact was, the state of New Hampshire wanted Steven Bixby and had for many years.
As early as March 1, 1994, Bixby had been in New Hampshire's Grafton County Superior Court facing charges of operating a motor vehicle on a revoked license. Bixby had a drunken driving conviction on his record, as well as several other moving violations. They were nothing serious, but his convictions eventually warranted a jail sentence. A judge sentenced Bixby to a few months in jail, a $500 fine, and a year on probation.
According to the assistant sheriff of Grafton County, Capt. Paul Leavitt, Bixby failed to ever pay the fine. Leavitt said Bixby also failed to show up at a state probation office to begin his year of probation. The county issued a warrant for Bixby's arrest.
Leavitt said investigators eventually discovered that Bixby was living in South Carolina. The state issued a fugitive arrest warrant and began to try to extradite Bixby back to New Hampshire,
According to the South Carolina attorney general's spokesperson, Trey Walker, South Carolina will not extradite a person to serve a sentence in another state of less than one year. Walker said New Hampshire wanted Bixby to serve a nine-month sentence.
The South Carolina Attorney General's Office dealt with the case from 2000 until 2003.
During those years, few people had reason to suspect that within a few months some of the top members of South Carolina government and law enforcement would be in the middle of a brief but violent attempt at revolution on a back country highway.

A Letter From Union Church Road

Many of those people were about to receive letters from the Bixby family, but most of the letters were going to arrive too late. At least one state office received its copy while the shootout was in progress.
In less than 900 words, Arthur and Rita Bixby stated their case.
----snip---
“The military is scattered all over the world allegedly protecting our rights. Wrong! … The military should be in this Country (sic) defending OUR RIGHTS!” the letter read.

Full text of the Bixby letter here:
http://www.thecarolinachannel.com/news/2696748/detail.html

Rita Bixby Phone Call Transcript
http://www.thecarolinachannel.com/news/2696610/detail.html
143 posted on 12/11/2003 3:15:28 AM PST by visualops (The costs of fighting the War on Terror are significant -the costs of not fighting are unimaginable.)
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To: visualops; John W; Cultural Jihad; archy; Travis McGee; countrydummy; hellinahandcart
I read the Bixby letter and in there, they charge that other property owners had their property simply taken and their driveway access blocked just like the Bixbys. I notice that the article that you posted did not refer to that, and seems an attempt to smear the son (even if the New Hampshire charges are true).

I do not condone the violence, but i can understand the rage that the Bixbys must have felt when the utility work would have cut off access to their driveway!!!

The JBT from the SC DOT didn't help matters either, apparently.

Maybe CJ's much vaunted investigative skills can see if their charge about other property owners losing their property in the same way is true? /sarc

144 posted on 12/11/2003 5:50:03 AM PST by sauropod (I believe Tawana! Sharpton for Prez! Slap the Donkey or Spank the Monkey? Your Choice)
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To: visualops
Looks like Steven Bixby graduated from scofflaw ideologue to cold-blooded murderer.
145 posted on 12/11/2003 6:46:17 AM PST by Cultural Jihad
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To: Cultural Jihad; sauropod
A certain amount of the Bixby's complaints and statements seem disconnected. He makes statements about NH, but is supposedly fighting extradition. For someone who seems to demand going by the book etc, he doesn't follow his own advice. If this is really about just the land, then why not present the documentation to everyone from the zoning board and DOT to the local news? One comment that caught my eye, was the statement that after the highway work, they actually would be better off. IOW, the highway would end up farther away from them than it is now- implying the occupation and work on their land would be temporary.
I'd like to see the local news follow up on the issue if others' land has indeed been taken without compensation and/or legal right.
I will post more later when I get home- not cool to FReep at work lol.
146 posted on 12/11/2003 7:21:03 AM PST by visualops (The costs of fighting the War on Terror are significant -the costs of not fighting are unimaginable.)
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To: visualops
My question still stands. Is there independent verification of the Bixby's claims about other properties being impacted in the same way and with the same heavy-handed JBT manner from the SC DOT?
147 posted on 12/11/2003 8:07:03 AM PST by sauropod (I believe Tawana! Sharpton for Prez! Slap the Donkey or Spank the Monkey? Your Choice)
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To: sauropod
I'm wondering the same thing since I haven't seen anything about that.
I emailed the guy at WYFF who wrote the most recent story, and asked if he was going to do some digging and do a followup piece. I noted that given the continued rapid growth of the Greenville area, it's quite possible these sorts of concerns (bullying or deceit by DOT, property rights) will come up again.
148 posted on 12/11/2003 9:07:25 AM PST by visualops (The costs of fighting the War on Terror are significant -the costs of not fighting are unimaginable.)
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To: FITZ
As far as eminent domain in general - it's perfectly fine (well, sorta) when used for the public good - like highways. Not strip malls or car dealerships.

The problem as I see it - a nice old lady on a fixed income has lived in her house for 45 years. They need the land, so they make what they feel is a generous offer - 20% over fair market value or whatnot. Everybody is fairly compensated right? Wrong. Because, when our proverbial nice old lady tries to find ANOTHER house - guess what - she can't afford to live there. In my mind, eminent domain is fine PROVIDED those involved provide compensation to secure an equivalent domicile and land, along with all moving expenses and associated costs. Anything else is theft pretty much.
149 posted on 12/11/2003 9:28:55 AM PST by Freedom4US
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To: sauropod
There is much more to this story than we are being told! Of course the media are going to make the Bixby's out to be the nuts of the world, and I can read between the lines! Not like some that have posted on this thread who have their heads so far up the goberments a**!!!
150 posted on 12/11/2003 12:40:01 PM PST by countrydummy
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