Rita Bixby, who was serving a life sentence for planning a 2003 ambush on her property that killed two officers, died Monday in prison, just one week after her husband, who was accused of carrying out the ambush with their son. She was 79. He was 82.
Rita Bixby died of natural causes about 4 a.m. at Graham Correctional Institution, a prison in Columbia for women with special needs, said Richland County Coroner Gary Watts. He said Bixby had cancer, though he didn't immediately what type.
A jury found Bixby guilty in October 2007 of conspiracy and two counts of accessory.
In July 2008, a judge ordered her husband, Arthur, to be committed to a mental institution, after a separate judge found he was unfit to stand trial for murder due to dementia.
The director of the New Hampshire funeral home handling the service for both Bixbys confirmed Monday that Arthur Bixby died Sept. 5 in Columbia. Arrangements have not been completed, said Bryan Gould of Ricker Funeral Home in Woodsville, N.H.