Convicted killer Bixby's parents die

Steven Bixby listens to a judge in a South Carolina courtroom. / FoxCarolina/FILE

COLUMBIA, S.C. (WACH, AP) -- Rita Bixby, who was serving a life sentence for planning the 2003 ambush on her property that killed two officers, has died in prison. She was 79.

Richland County Coroner Gary Watts says Bixby died at Graham Correctional Institution in Columbia about 4 a.m. Monday. Watts says Bixby had cancer.

A jury found Bixby guilty in 2007 of conspiracy and accessory. She was sentenced to life in prison

Last week the Court of Appeals denied Rita Bixby's argument that her son's prison letters should not have been used in her prosecution.

Bixby's father, Arthur, was charged with murder and conspiracy in connection with the deaths, but he was not found competent to stand trial. He was involuntarily committed to a mental institution in 2008 and died September 5 after a long illness.

Read more Court denies Rita Bixby's appeal in 2003 deaths State Supreme court upholds sentence for cop killer SC Cop killer says funeral video unfair Judge orders Bixby committed to mental hospital Bixby patriarch ruled incompetent in cop deaths

Her son, Steven Bixby, was sentenced to death for the shooting deaths of Abbeville County Sheriff's Sgt. Danny Wilson and Constable Donnie Ouzts. The family was angry about a highway project.

The state Supreme Court last year upheld Steven Bixby's death sentence. He was convicted of shooting Sheriff's Sgt. Danny Wilson in 2003 when he knocked on the family's door. Constable Donnie Ouzts was killed when he went to check on Wilson.

Steven Bixby is awaiting his sentence on death row.

(WHNS, and The Associated Press contributed to this report.)