A federal jury in Omaha has found a former Nebraska state trooper stationed in the Panhandle Not Guilty of violating a driver’s civil rights by using excessive force against him after a high-speed chase in southern Sioux County nearly 6 years ago.
Lindsay Bixby faced up to 10-years in prison if he’d been convicted in his second trial on the case.
The first last November ended in a mistrial after 2-½ days of deliberation when the jury deadlocked 10-2 for acquittal. This time, it took less than 6 hours Tuesday for the Not Guilty verdict.
The case centered on what happened at the end of the March 2016 chase. A video showed Bixby, a 13-year State Patrol veteran, hitting Brian Davis of Colorado in the head with the butt of his rifle after Davis refused to get on the ground when the late-night chase ended.
In closing arguments, prosecutors said Davis was obviously drunk and surrendering when Bixby used “deadly force” in hitting him with the rifle butt, turning him from “a suspect to a victim.”
Bixby’s attorneys argued that Davis had a “you’re not taking me alive mentality” and “threatened the lives” of Bixby and his partner, leaving Bixby to make “a split second decision while facing a serious threat” from an unpredictable suspect.
Bixby resigned from the patrol four months after the stop, but the case and other problems led Gov. Pete Ricketts to fire State Patrol Superintendent Brad Rice.
Bixby is currently a “maintenance technician” and recently said that he does not want to return to law enforcement.