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Ashland Daily Tidings

*EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW*

Higginbotham will 'face the music'

Elbert Higginbotham will contact Ashland Police Friday morning to try to clear his name regarding a warrant that Navajo, AZ County Sheriff Department issued on Wednesday for his arrest concerning methamphetamine and weapons charges, according to an exclusive interview Higginbotham gave to the Daily Tidings Thursday evening, after failing to show for a scheduled afternoon press conference.

&

I&

m going to call tomorrow to find out what&

s going on,&

he said. &

If they want me I&

ll go face my music. Who wants to live on the run?&

Higginbotham said he did not attend Thursday&

s press conference because he &

was just tired and upset.&

Instead, he said he stayed in the apartment of Marlo Hill-Stiver and Pete Stiver.

Higginbotham said he fears his past transgressions will tarnish the otherwise positive reputation the Stivers have earned for surviving their ordeal in the remote mountains west of Glendale, OR.

&

Everybody is going to think the whole family is a bunch of dopers,&

he said. &

This was me, not them. They are still a good family. They still went through this.&

In fact, he said, his wife Rebecca Bess, who also endured their 17-day wilderness excursion, has been his &

guardian angel&

in helping him to stay clean of methamphetamine.

Though Bess was charged by Arizona authorities, as well, Higginbotham said she was an innocent bystander. &

Becky tried to keep me away from it,&

he said.

Staff writer can be reached at 482-3456 x 226 or bplain@dailytidings.com.