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Published: Thursday, 7/13/2006

Mom's killer wasn't bad, daughter says

Lawrence Hichborn  Susan Hichborn Lawrence Hichborn Susan Hichborn

The stepdaughter of a man who killed her mother before fatally shooting himself said he wasn't a bad person.

"He was sad. He wasn't a bad person, and I don't want people to think that," Jessica Hughes said of her stepfather, Lawrence Hichborn.

Hichborn and his wife, Susan, filed for a marriage dissolution in May and had a separation agreement, according to court records. Mrs. Hichborn recently moved to the apartment on Tremainsville Road, where the shootings occurred Tuesday.

Authorities said Hichborn shot his wife in the parking lot, then turned the handgun on himself.

Autopsies conducted yesterday showed Mrs. Hichborn, 39, was shot four times in the head and chest and her 41-year-old husband was shot once in the head, said Dr. Cynthia Beisser, a Lucas County deputy coroner.

Ms. Hughes, 19, said Hichborn, whom she called her father, "couldn't take it any more."

"He couldn't have her, and I don't think he wanted anyone to have her," Ms. Hughes said from the Hichborn West Toledo house. "I think they loved each other too much and they didn't know what to do."

Ms. Hughes said the couple met in grade school and dated in high school. They graduated from Whitmer High School, married in 1989, and had a 16-year-old daughter, Tabitha. They also had a 2-year-old granddaughter, Tayler.

"It was just unfortunate events," cousin Rita Coon said.

Hours before the shootings occurred, police said Mrs. Hichborn and her father inquired about getting a protection order against Hichborn, but none was issued.

Police do not have any reports of domestic violence between the couple.

Mrs. Hichborn did file a police report Saturday about two tires on her car that were slashed outside her apartment between Friday night and Saturday afternoon.

She told police she suspected her husband.

Mrs. Hichborn owned a cleaning company; her husband was a truck driver for Vail Logistics in Bowling Green.

The Newcomer Funeral Home is handling the arrangements for Mrs. Hichborn, while the Ansberg West Funeral Home is handling the arrangements for her husband.

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