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Slain Police Chief's Family Upset By Removal Of Picture

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SHARPSBURG, N.C. — More than eight years ago, a man named Abner Nicholson gunned down the police chief of Sharpsburg. Since then, a picture of Nicholson hung in the police department -- until now. The sister of the slain lawman says taking down Nicholson's picture is an insult to her brother's memory.

"They've not forgotten my brother, which makes me feel good," said Wayne Hathaway's sister, Monica Worsham. "But I don't want them to forget who took him from us"

Worsham is livid that town officials removed the picture of the man who killed her brother in 1997. The snapshot of Nicholson had been posted on the bulletin board in the police station lobby with the captions "don't ever forget this face" and "dead man walking."  Sharpsburg's new mayor, Sheila Williams, objected to the picture and the caption.

"This was told to me when she first took office -- that picture is coming down," said Worsham.

Williams was in her office and refused to comment. Other town commissioners say they consider the picture removal a closed matter and didn't want to talk about it.

"Yeah, it should have come down," said Sharpsburg resident Cynthia Cherry. "It should have never been put up."

Cherry backed City Hall on this one. 

"Why have a picture?" she asked. "Why would anyone want to be reminded of a man they call a murderer?"

"I kind of liked it up there, because it was like...we're not going to forget who took away the chief," said Worsham. "That's the way I see it."

Nicholson was convicted in 1998 and sentenced to die for the murders of his wife and Hathaway. He is a resident of death row in Central Prison.


Fred Taylor


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