Former lawmaker facing sex abuse probe was 'coward' for killing himself, ex-wife says

The former Idaho state lawmaker who was found dead Tuesday was under apparent investigation for allegedly molesting two girls, according to details that emerged Wednesday.

Brandon Hixon, 36, died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head, authorities said. Officials did not disclose more details, except that the suicide may have been related to possible sexual abuse allegations.

But in a report published Wednesday, the former wife of the three-term Republican – who resigned from the Idaho Legislature in October amid a sexual abuse probe – said Hixon was investigated over sexual abuse of two girls, including a young female relative whom she says was abused for more than a decade.

Danielle Eirvin Hixon, who was married to the former lawmaker for 10 years until their divorce in 2016, said she was encouraged to speak out after seeing other praising her ex-husband’s character and wanted people to know the other side of the story.

'He would cheat on me'

“Brandon made people believe that he was a stand-up, morally correct person,” she said. “But behind the house walls, he would cheat on me and molested children.”

She said investigators asked her not to disclose details about the allegations until charges were filed against her former husband. She and two other people had been scheduled to testify before a grand jury Wednesday.

“I had no idea it was happening,” the ex-wife added about the alleged abuse, noting that the girl who told her “kept it quiet for so long.”

The other alleged victim of sexual abuse is not related to the lawmaker, the woman said. She learned about her allegations from the victim’s mother.

Speaking about the suicide, she branded her ex-husband a “coward” for taking his life rather than facing justice and giving closure to the victims.

“I say he was a coward by taking the easy way out,” Hixon said.

'Running to the press'

But the public statements from the ex-wife caused upset to the grieving family. Kayle Olson, the lawmaker’s sister, criticized the ex-wife for “already running to the press” about the allegations.

“Danielle has brought forth many allegations. She has put the minor children on the front line of this tragic battle when they should have not ever been,” Olson told the Idaho Statesman. “This should have remained private and not exposed by her in the manner it has been.”

She added: “This is a sealed case with minors involved and the children need to be thought of first, which she has completely failed to do,” she added.

“The family is grieving. We would wish that everyone respect that at this time. This has been a very tragic and devastating case for everyone involved. It is very real for us. It is not a joke to us. Somebody is dead.”

The former wife told the Statesman that one of the victims, who is now a teenager, allowed her to speak about the alleged sexual abuse.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Lukas Mikelionis is a reporter for Follow him on Twitter @LukasMikelionis.