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Former State Trooper accused of brutality found not guilty

Published: Jan. 11, 2022 at 3:19 PM CST|Updated: Jan. 11, 2022 at 4:27 PM CST
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OMAHA, Neb. (News Channel Nebraska) - An Omaha jury found a former Nebraska State Trooper not guilty of using excessive force for an incident involving the arrest of a man in western Nebraska in 2016. Berry Law attorneys John S. Berry Jr. and Michael J. Wilson defended Lindsay Bixby, who faced up to ten years in prison for allegedly violating the man’s civil rights.

Bixby was accused of head-slamming a Colorado man, Brian Davis, with the butt end of his AR-15 semi-automatic rifle in the middle of the night six years ago, following an hour-long high speed chase in western Nebraska.

The one-time, 13-year patrol veteran was facing up to 10 years in prison for violating Davis’ civil rights.

During closing arguments Monday prosecutors argued:

  • Davis who led police on a high speed chase and found Bixby hitting him with the butt-end of his rifle went from a “suspect to a victim.”
  • In the moments before being hit by Bixby, Davis—who had consumed a pint-and-a-half of whiskey, Xanax and methadone—and was “drunk obviously” was “surrendering” when Bixby “used deadly force.”
  • Bixby, a 13-year-veteran at the time of the March, 2016 incident, “knew better.”

Bixby’s lawyer argued:

  • In the “3,558 seconds” from the start of the chase to the blow to Davis’ head, Davis had “threatened the lives” of Bixby and his partner, Trooper Kyle Kuebler.
  • It was only, “By God’s grace that (Davis) didn’t kill someone.”
  • Davis had a “You’re not taking me alive mentality.”

The jury inside US District Court in Omaha deliberated less than six hours.

“This was a man in the arena moment, where Lindsey Bixby found himself in a dark ditch in the sandhills of western Nebraska, where he made a split second decision while facing a serious threat, without the benefit of a taser, a body camera or knowledge of what the suspect would do next,” Bixby’s lawyer, John Berry, said.

A mistrial had been declared in November after two and a half days of deliberations. The jury’s forewoman at that time said 10 jurors voted to find Bixby not guilty, while two voted to find him guilty. The case was brought forward again this month by federal prosecutors.

Bixby, who left the patrol about four months after the incident, is currently a “maintenance technician” and recently said that he does not want to return to law enforcement.

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