Suspect in Raleigh stabbing reportedly claimed he had cancer
Posted April 25, 2013
Updated April 26, 2013
Raleigh, N.C. — A man accused of stabbing and killing a political strategist in her Raleigh home on Monday reportedly told people he had cancer – a claim that's untrue, according to his pastor at Pullen Memorial Baptist Church.
Rev. Nancy Petty said Thursday that she asked her congregation last week to pray for Jonathan Wayne Broyhill after he told her that he had pancreatic cancer.
But Petty said police detectives told her and others in a hospital waiting room at WakeMed Monday evening that the claim was not true and that she informed church members Wednesday night.
"I felt that I had an obligation to tell my congregation that this was not true and that there were more important things to pray for," Petty said.
Broyhill, 31, is accused of stabbing Jamie Kirk Hahn, 29, and her husband, Nation Richard Hahn, 27, at their home at 1705 Tealwood Place early Monday evening.
Jamie Hahn died Wednesday morning. Nation Hahn was treated for injuries and released from the hospital.
A longtime friend of the couple and the best man at their wedding in 2009, Broyhill had also told the Hahns that he had an appointment with a cancer doctor on Tuesday and that the couple planned to go with him, Petty said. But there was no appointment.
Both the Hahns and Broyhill attend Pullen Memorial, where a visitation has been planned for Jamie Hahn Friday at 6 p.m.; her funeral will be at 11 a.m. Saturday. She'll also be remembered Monday at a memorial service at First Baptist Church in her hometown of Orangeburg, S.C.
Raleigh police haven't said what might have led to the stabbings and wouldn't comment Thursday about the cancer claim or reports Wednesday of possible financial irregularities in the congressional campaign of former Rep. Brad Miller.
Jamie Hahn, founder of the political fundraising firm Sky Blue Strategies, was hired by Miller in 2010 to work on his campaign. Broyhill was a firm employee and managed the campaign's finances.
Miller told WRAL News on Wednesday that Jamie Hahn had recently found out about issues with refunded checks to several donors and had planned to ask Broyhill to hand over the campaign's checks and bank records. Miller said he didn't know if that conversation ever happened.
"Jamie was suspicious of him embezzling money," Jamie Hahn's stepfather, Marion Funderburk, said Thursday in an interview with WRAL News. "She had a talk with him, and apparently, he just lost it."
Broyhill was recovering Thursday at WakeMed from injuries that police said were self-inflicted. He is charged with murder and assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill inflicting serious injury.
His stepmother in Lenoir, Mary Broyhill, had no comment Thursday.
Funderburk, however, said the stabbing was out of character for Broyhill.
"We're in shock, because he was one of her best friends," he said. "John is just not that kind of person."
'An idealist who lived her beliefs'
As far as his stepdaughter, Funderburk said Jamie Hahn wanted to make a difference in people's lives and had a great work ethic and following.
"You loved Jamie the first time you met her," he said.
"We're coping day to day," he added. "It's been the toughest thing in my life to see my child pass away in front of my eyes in this manner. It just breaks my heart, and I don't know if I'll ever recover from it."
The Hahns are well-known in Raleigh's political circle, having worked on high-profile Democratic campaigns, including last year's opposition to an amendment to the North Carolina constitution that bans same-sex marriage.
According to her obituary, Jamie Hahn was a "rising star" in politics and "an idealist who lived her beliefs."
"She dedicated her life and her labor to the goal of human dignity for all – rich and poor, black and white, young and old, gay and straight," the obituary said. "She saw public service as the way to achieve that goal."
Part of Jamie Hahn's service was on the Board of Directors for the Raleigh nonprofit Hope Center at Pullen, which serves the area's homeless population and aims to prevent homelessness.
"She was so passionate, giving, loving, patient and caring, and that just transcended into all the work that she did," Hope Center Executive Director Diane Daily said. "She was just one of those people you don't get to meet very often."
Jamie Hahn had been organizing the group's annual fundraiser on May 5. Her family has asked that memorial contributions be made to the center's "Raising Hope Dinner."
"We were just truly awestruck and beyond honored and so grateful that they selected us out of the many wonderful and deserving causes that they could have," Daily said.