Local News

Man who held newspaper hostage dies in prison

Posted May 1, 2009 12:18 p.m. EDT
Updated May 1, 2009 5:15 p.m. EDT

— 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.