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The State

May 05, 1987

A rancher pleaded innocent to kidnaping and assault charges for beating and taking to police a man the rancher claims gave drugs to his son. Trial for Jerry Hixon, 45, of Woodlake was scheduled Sept. 8 in Tulare County Superior Court. Hixon is charged with knocking Rick Waddell, 20, of Woodlake, unconscious with the butt of a shotgun, then hauling Waddell to the police station. Hixon admitted in an interview that he administered the beating because his 16-year-old son told him Waddell had set the teen-ager up for a drug bust. Hixon said his son told him that Waddell slipped a snuffbox full of cocaine into the teen-ager's pocket moments before young Hixon was arrested at Visalia Golden West High School for investigation of possessing cocaine. Waddell denied the accusation. No criminal charges have been filed against him. Woodlake Police Chief Ray Sands decried Hixon's actions and called him a vigilante.

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