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Ernest White Murder


Idaho State Journal, Thursday, Jan 2, 1958


MONTPELIER-Ernest White, 50, was in critical condition in Salt Lake City LDS hospital where he was taken after being shot twice early Wednesday.  Avery Wixom, also of Montpelier, was being held in city jail on a charge of carrying a concealed weapon pending a report on White's chances Bear Lake County Prosecutor Roger Burgoyne said.

White, suffering from a bullet wound in his spine and a bullet wound in his left shoulder, was flown to Salt Lake City late Wednesday.  there were no witnesses to the shooting. Burgoyne said Wixom told him it occurred near White's home about 4:45 am.  Wixom told Burgoyne he approached White as White was leaving for the telephone office where he works part time as a janitor, the prosecutor said.  Wixom told Burgoyne the two men exchanged a few words, then Wixom pulled a gun and shot at White.

White told Burgoyne that after he was shot, he got out of his pickup truck, knocked Wixom down and took the gun away from him.  Then White went in his house and called police, naming Wixom as his assailant.  Burgoyne said policed arrested Wixom shorted after 5am.  The gun, a nine-shot .22 caliber pistol had expended shells in it, he said.

White is a mechanic employed by San Francisco Chemical Co. Wixom has been most recently employed in Nevada as a police officer.

Idaho State Journal, Sunday, Jan 5, 1958


Salt Lake City-A Montpelier, Idaho gunshot victim continued in "critical" condition Saturday in a Salt Lake City hosptial.  The victim of a New Year's day shooting, Ernest White, 53, was transferred from the Bear Lake Hospital to Salt Lake City Thursday for specialized medical treatment.

Montpelier police officers said Avery Wixom, also of Montpelier, was being held on a concealed weapons charge.

Idaho State Journal, Wednesday, January 22, 1958


Montpelier-Ernest White, 50, Montpelier, died today in the LDS Hospital in Salt Lake City of bullet wounds received early New Year's Day.  County Prosecutor Roger D Burgoyne said an arrest warrant had been issued for Avery Wixom, the man White named as his assailant.

The prosecutor said a homicide charge will be filed against Wixom, who was arrested after the shooting on a charge of carrying a concealed weapon.  Burgoyne said the shooting occurred after a verbal exchange between White and Wixom as White was leaving his home about 4:45 am Jan 1. Wixom was taken into custody in his home a short time later and released after serving a jail term on the concealed weapons charge.

Idaho State Journal, Thursday, January 23, 1958


Montpelier-Avery Wixom, 63, was in Bear Lake County jail today under a first degree murder charge in the New Year's Day shooting of a Montpelier father of seven children.  The victim, Ernest White, 53, died Wednesday in the Salt Lake City LDS Hospital of two bullet wounds.  One of the bullets had lodged near his spine and the other entered the fleshy part of his left arm during an altercation near his home.

Wixom appeared late Wednesday before Justice of the Peace Albert E Leeright on a complaint signed by Deputy Sheriff George Rany and asked for time to consult an attorney.  No time was set for arraignment.

Wixom was arrested within minutes after the shooting on a charge of carrying a concealed weapon.  Leeright sentenced him Jan 2 to a 10 day jail term on the charge.  He had been free since serving that sentence and was taken into custody again Wednesday.

White's body is at Matthews Mortuary here.  Funeral services were tentatively set for Monday.

Idaho State Journal, Wednesday, June 25, 1958

Prosecutor Seeks Dismissal of Court Against Wixom

Montpelier-Fifth District Judge John A Carver, Pocatello, is scheduled to hear a motion Friday by Bear Lake prosecutor Elbert E Gass to dismiss a manslaughter charge against Avery Wixom.

Wixom is charged in connection with the shooting of Ernest White, 50, early New Year's morning.  White later died from the two bullet wounds.  Gass, who took over for former prosecutor, Roger Burgoyne in the case when Burgoyne entered law practice in Boise, filed the manslaughter information in justice court.  he moved to have it dismissed there, but Wixom had already been bound over to district court, and the justice of the peace declined to dismiss it.

Idaho State Journal, Thursday, April 23, 1959

Murder Trial Set to Start Monday

Montpelier-The year old question of whether Avery Warren Wixom shot and killed Ernest S White will be tried here starting Monday.  Fifth District Judge Darwin D Brown will conduct the first degree murder trial, which will be held in the Paris courthouse.

White was shot near the place where he worked about 4:45 am on New Year's Day of 1958.  He was taken to Salt Lake City's LDS Hospital with bullets in his spine and shoulder and died several months later.

Wixom was arrested Jan 2, 1958 for assault with a deadly weapon but the charge was later changed to first degree murder.  Bear Lake Prosecutor Elbert Gass said the preliminary sessions of the trial will be spent in selecting a jury to try the case.  Both Wixom and White were residents of Montpelier.

Idaho State Journal, Tuesday, April 28, 1959

Murder Trial Starts In Bear Lake; 10 Picked for Jury

Paris-The first degree murder trial of Avery Wixom opened here Monday with 40 prospective jurors being examined.  Only 10 were accepted, leaving the selection of two more necessary before Wixom's trial can open.  Wixom is being tried on charges that he shot and fatally injured Ernest White on New Year's Day of 1958 after a quarrel.  White was critically injured in the shooting and later died in a Salt Lake City hospital.

Fifth District Judge Darwin D Brown is presiding over the trial at the small Paris courthouse.  The state's case is being presented by Elbert Gass, Bear Lake County prosecutor.  Wixom is being defended by attorney A T Fredericks of Boise.  Gass said another 20 prospective jurors were scheduled to be examined today in an attempt to start the trial.

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