Hixon Gets Five Years State Time
A Union Township man was ordered to a minimum five-year sentence in a state correctional institution this week for the aggravated assault of his former girlfriend’s 27-month-old daughter.
Fulton County Court of Common Pleas Judge Carol L. Van Horn told Lance Alan Hixon Tuesday, May 7, was her “day to get jus- tice for this little girl.” Judge Van Horn reminded the 33-year-old Hixon, he had seen the photographic evidence depicting the child’s injuries that was not disclosed to the jury during a previous two-day trial.
The judge noted the child experienced severe pain beyond what she could personally imagine, and the injuries were sustained over a period of time. Given the testimony of a pediatrician from Hershey Medical Center, Van Horn said it would be forever embedded in her head that hospital staff gave up counting the child’s extensive bruising at 24. The phrase “torture victim” was referenced by Van Horn, who concluded failure to act and report any abuse is as severe as committing long-term abuse.
Hixon was ordered to complete between five years and 15 years in a state correctional institution for one count of first-degree aggravated assault. For sentencing purposes, an additional misdemeanor count of simple assault merges with the sentence for aggravated assault.
An additional sentence of 14 months to four years was imposed for endangering the welfare of a child, however, that sentence will run simultaneously with the previous imposed sentence for aggravated assault.
Hixon must pay $9,731.40 to the Department of Public Welfare for restitution, which will be shared jointly with the codefendant and mother of the victim, Joscelyn Murray. Murray is currently serving a 20- to 84-month sentence in a Department of Corrections boot camp for her involvement.
Murray took the stand against her former boyfriend last month and admitted she lied to Pennsylvania State Police investigator Trooper Michael Davis as well as to hospital officials and Services for Children at the onset of the investigation. She testified her daughter did not hit her head on the toilet causing her eyes to swell, as she initially reported.
“I lied for him,” said Murray who added that Hixon “put his hands on her daughter, hit her in the face, carried her around by the neck and back of the head and struck her with a belt” the evening of November 3, 2011. She went on to testify that peroxide was also poured in her daughter’s eyes.
“I watched him hurt her ... I watched her scream,” Murray said.
Murray stated she was scared of what Hixon would do if she told the truth and added she “was not emotionally strong enough” to protect the girl.
Hospital officials said the girl’s eyes were bruised and swollen shut much like a boxer’s and could only be opened under anesthesia for examination. The doctor also testified during the trial about bruising to the forehead, cheeks, mouth, neck, clavicle, sternum, chest, buttocks and thighs. Some marks had loop-shaped bruising, indicating the girl had been struck with an object moving at a highvelocity, while other marks were fist- shaped.