BROOMFIELD, Colo. (CBS4) – When CBS4 met Shala Hixson last March she was desperate to find her missing Marine veteran husband. Cory Hixson jumped from their two-story balcony and vanished.READ MORE: Contractors Say CDOT Is Hiding Costs Of Big Contracts With Out-Of-State Companies
Police were searching for him.
Shala told CBS4’s Jennifer Brice that her husband’s medication, for a traumatic brain injury (TBI), had recently changed. That is when his behavior became erratic, according to Shala.
“He started acting different and shave his head; did know who we were and who he was,” she said. “He was just disoriented.”
Cory Hixson’s wife says her 33-year old husband has been living with TBI for 13 years since a mortar attack in Fallujah. She has been his caretaker. Within minutes of the initial interview, Shala discovered Cory was arrested for breaking into a home.
The Weld County District Attorney, Michael Rourke, says he will dismiss the charges if Cory finishes a diversion program. It is a second chance for an offender who commits a relatively minor crime.
In Cory’s case, Rourke says it’s clear the VA system failed him.READ MORE: 'If Roots Don't Get Moisture, They Die': Experts Say To Water Landscaping As Colorado Faces Abnormal Warm And Dry Spell
“Veterans like Cory have provided a service to this country that we can never repay, but where we can, it’s a must,” Rourke said. “When veterans living with PTSD enter the criminal justice system, we owe it to them to take the time to understand what went wrong. He deserves better. His family deserves better.”
Upon successful completion of the program, Cory’s record will be sealed.
The district attorney’s office says they divert about 350 cases per year through the program. They have a 90 percent success rate where offenders complete the program, and do not commit any new offenses.
“Cory made it clear from the first time we spoke that he wanted to take responsibility and correct his wrong,” Rourke said. “Diversion will afford him the opportunity to get him the help he needs and make amends through community service.”
As part of diversion, Cory has agreed to perform 10 hours of community service at the victim’s home, participate in a safety plan to prepare him for possible PTSD events, check-in monthly with diversion officers and continue medical treatment at his local VA clinic.Booking Booster Shots Proves Challenging For Some Coloradans