Former GOP state Rep. Brandon Hixon of Idaho has reportedly committed suicide in the wake of a criminal investigation for alleged sexual abuse. Brandon’s ex-wife, Danielle Eirvin Hixon, had accused him of molesting two young girls.
On Jan. 9, Brandon was found dead by a family member inside his home in Caldwell, Idaho. Canyon County Coroner Vicki DeGeus-Morris disclosed that Brandon’s cause of death was a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head, The Associated Press reported.
The Idaho House Speaker, GOP Rep. Scott Bedke, released a statement mourning Brandon and suggesting that his colleagues fundraise for the deceased’s family.
“We should support those who are close to us when they are struggling,” Bedke said. “Please remember Brandon’s family in your prayers.”
GOP state Rep. Bryan Zollinger of Idaho tweeted out: “I wish I had followed the promptings I received and called with words and kindness and encouragement. Reminder to us all to love one another despite differences of opinion.”
Brandon, who was 36 at the time of his death, was elected to the Idaho Legislature in 2012 and subsequently reelected in 2014. In October 2017, he resigned from office after it was reported that the state’s attorney general had opened a criminal investigation into him for alleged sexual abuse.
“I hope that my efforts have helped improve the lives of my constituents in District 10, as well as all Idahoans,” Brandon said at the time. “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.”
Brandon had been previously probed for alleged sexual abuse in 2014, but no charges were filed at the time. After Brandon stepped down from the legislature, he had several run-ins with the law, including two arrests for drunk driving and a misdemeanor charge for resisting arrest.
On Jan. 10, Danielle Eirvin Hixon, the deceased lawmaker’s ex-wife, revealed that she had reported Brandon to authorities after she learned that he had allegedly molested two young girls.
“Brandon made people believe that he was a stand-up, morally correct person,” Danielle said during an interview. “But behind the house walls, he would cheat on me and molested children.”
Danielle, who divorced Brandon in 2016, accused him of repeatedly raping an unnamed underage girl believed to be a family member for up to 11 years and inappropriately touching another girl who was not a relative. She added that two witnesses had been scheduled to testify regarding the case before a grand jury on Jan. 10, a day before Brandon’s suicide.
“I say he was a coward by taking the easy way out,” Danielle said, adding that she felt compelled to speak out after reading Idaho lawmakers’ expressions of sympathy for her ex-husband.
In December 2017, GOP state Rep. Dan Johnson of Kentucky committed suicide amid allegations of sexual molestation. The lawmaker was accused of kissing and fondling a 17-year-old girl when he was a pastor in 2012. Similarly to Brandon, he reportedly took his own life with a self-inflicted gunshot to the head, according to WDRB.