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Man who held newspaper hostage dies in prison

Posted May 1, 2009

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— Eddie Hatcher, who was serving a life sentence for a 1999 murder, died of natural causes Friday morning at Central Prison, authorities said.

Hatcher, 51, had earlier served time in prison after holding the staff of a Robeson County newspaper hostage in 1988. He received an 18-year sentence for kidnapping in 1990 and was paroled in 1995.

Trying to raise awareness to what they saw as local public corruption and drug trafficking, Hatcher and Timothy Jacobs armed themselves with shotguns and stormed the offices of the Robesonian newspaper in Lumberton on Feb. 1, 1988. They held 17 staff members hostage for 10 hours before surrendering.

The pair was acquitted on federal terrorism charges but was convicted on state kidnapping charges.

Hatcher was convicted in 2001 of a May 1999 drive-by shooting that killed one person and wounded another.

He had battled complications from AIDS for years.


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  • burtward2 May 1, 2009

    Honakura- Operation Tarnished Badge uncovered wrongdoing under Glenn Maynor's regime. Maynor was not the Sheriff at the time of the hostage situation.

  • The Fox May 1, 2009

    Eddie 'The Hatchet Man" Hatcher wasn't native american either.

  • billyandipo May 1, 2009

    How do you hold a newspaper hostage???? refuse to throw it in the trash????

  • Groovy May 1, 2009

    I'm holding some financial reports hostage right now.

  • Groovy May 1, 2009

    LOL @ mattsbeandip

  • Libandproud May 1, 2009

    "I didn't know Aids was considered natural causes????" doinbizzness

    Of course it's natural causes, just the same as cancer or heart-disease related deaths are termed natural causes. What's the difference???

  • hdonthefarm May 1, 2009

    Doinbizzness..Nobody reading this article would know that this guy had AIDS. Wral seems to have left out a little sumpin sumpin as usual. Not a nice guy.

  • miketroll3572 May 1, 2009

    Too bad we couldn't have put him down and saved all that money....

  • honakura May 1, 2009

    I hate that it took holding people hostage. I knew someone who was one of the hostages. But they did have some truth about the Sheriff's office being corrupt in that county. It took several years after holding them hostage but finally the FBI took at look at the Sheriff's Dept. Operation Tarnished Badge I think it was called.

  • TStills May 1, 2009

    Kind of looks like Hannibal Lecter in the pic.

    Oh, and well written heading on this one - "Man who held newspaper hostage". Its like "Man gets life sentence for beating, raping magazine"...