LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — A man suspected of shooting his ex-wife and killing her new husband, a distant cousin of former presidential candidate Mike Huckabee, wrote her threatening letters from jail that prompted police to get an arrest warrant.
Police in Arkansas couldn't arrest Donald Hux on a harassment charge, however, because he was already in custody in Texas and later Louisiana. He was released from jail Thursday, and authorities say he turned up at his ex-wife's home in Arkadelphia on Sunday morning and shot her husband, Sandy Huckabee, in the head.
Sandy Huckabee's father is the first cousin of former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee's father.
Police said Hux then kidnapped his ex-wife, Amy Huckabee, and their three children, the youngest of whom is just 3 years old. He drove to his father's house near El Dorado about 80 miles away and left the children there.
Authorities found Sandy Huckabee's body on Sunday morning. That night, sheriff's deputies found Hux and Amy Huckabee in a vehicle near a gravel road in a rural part of southern Arkansas' Union County.
"We don't have the autopsy back, but the officers saw him shoot her," Chief Deputy Bill Hickman said.
Amy Huckabee died, and Hux died after a shootout with sheriff's deputies, none of whom were hurt.
The shootings come after Amy Huckabee told police in August that Hux had been sending her threatening letters.
"My ex-husband is in jail in Lubbock, Texas," she said according to an Aug. 1 police report. "He has continued to send me letters off and on for months, but the one I got today was just too much. ... I'm scared that if and when he gets out he will come after me."
The Associated Press obtained copies of Hux's handwritten notes. In them, he calls his wife a number of foul names.
"I'm surprised churches don't catch on fire just because you walk through the doors," he wrote in part of one letter attached to a court document.
Hux also wished a number of bad things for his ex-wife: a heart attack or breast, cervical or lung cancer.
"When I get done your gonna want to kill yourself to put yourself out of misery. Thats the only way you'll get any relief from the hell I'll cause you," he wrote.
Amy Huckabee knew her ex-husband was being released from jail. She spoke often with a detective in Louisiana, including on the day he was released and the day after, Caddo Parish Sheriff spokeswoman Cindy Chadwick said.
"She was very concerned," Chadwick said.
Hux, a truck driver, bounced from jail in Texas, where he was indicted for sexually assaulting a woman at a Lubbock truck stop, to Louisiana, where he was accused of a similar crime, Chadwick said.
A 22-year-old Caddo Parish woman said Hux threatened her with a handgun and raped her in the cab of his semitrailer at a truck stop in May 2010, the local sheriff's office said. He pleaded guilty to soliciting a prostitute, a less severe charge than the aggravated rape count he originally faced.
Amy Huckabee cited Hux's solicitation of prostitutes online and "physical and mental abuse suffered by her and her children" as grounds for divorce in a court document last year.
But it was Hux who originally filed for divorce, said his attorney, Bob Depper.
The couple separated in 2010 after a decade of marriage. Their divorce was finalized last year, when Amy married Sandy Huckabee.
Hux's criminal history dates to the 1990s, when he pleaded guilty to an assault charge after he shooting at a man's truck in Union County. He also pleaded guilty to animal cruelty, theft of property and another charge stemming from the theft and killing of a pet turkey.
Hux didn't receive any jail time in those cases but was sentenced to 24 months in a regional punishment facility for setting a towel on fire while he was being held in jail.
A man who answered the phone at a number listed for Hux and his father said, "There's no comment to be made right now."
Depper, who has represented Hux in several cases, said the family is struggling with the tragic news.
"Donnie certainly had his demons, but it is a sad day for all involved," he said.
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