Tragically Steve Branch was murdered in 1993, in which 3 teenage boys were convicted of his murder. Supporters of the convicted boys stated that they were singled out due to their interest in occult and heavy metal, and were coerced into confessing. The Dixie chicks posted allegations on their website in 2007 of DNA evidence linking Hobbs, Branch’s step father, for the murder. Natalie Maine singer of the group Dixie chicks held a rally in support of the boys and the recent new evidence that linked Hobbs to the crime. Hobbs sued the Dixie chicks for defamation in which he sought compensatory and punitive damages with claims that he lost income and suffered emotional distress brought on by the allegations. Judge Miller dismissed the Hobbs lawsuit because Hobbs couldn’t prove malicious intent or the knowing release of false statements. Hobbs was later ordered to pay Maines $17,590 in compensation for her legal expenses.
In continuation of part 2 of the case, Step father Hobbs claimed a defamation case November 25th, 2013 due to the fact that Maine’s claims and assumptions she made apparent during a rally in which she stated that DNA evidence was found that pointed towards Hobbs being guilty for the murders of the three 8 year old boys. Maines also took to online to The Dixie Chicks website to expose the finding as well. Because of these allegations, and in order for Hobbs claimed that the allegations made on his behalf regarding the murder of his stepson were so atrocious, extreme and intolerable that to clear his name, he is also suing The Dixie Chicks for punitive damages due to loss of wages injury to reputation and emotional stress.