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Sharpsburg Double Murder Trial Delayed Again

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WILSON — Relatives of a murderedWilson Countypolice chief and a woman he tried to save have waited a year and a half for justice. They'll have to wait longer now that next week's double murder trial for Abner Nicholson has been pushed back again.

"Our family is ready to have this over with," said Faye Beddingfield.

Beddingfield was prepared to go to court Tuesday to watch the man accused of killing her brother face a jury. Now, the trial date could be months away.

Nicholson is accused of killing his wife Gloria and Sharpsburg Police Chief Wayne Hathaway on July 17, 1997.

Hathaway was helping Gloria Nicholson move out after an argument with her estranged husband.

The latest delay is being blamed on a busy schedule for defense attorneyToby Fitch, who is tied up with his second job as a state lawmaker.

"We have been going through this for a year and a half now. We feel like that it's time, but we also realize that we have to go through the system," said Beddingfield.

Records at the state Supreme Court say the trial cannot move forward until Fitch has time or theGeneral Assemblyfinishes its business.

Fitch would not talk to WRAL because of a gag order. Even Nicholson's family, who attended a pre-trial motion hearing Friday morning, says it is time to put the delays aside.

"So we can find out what really went on that day that it happened. We really want to know, but something really has to happen," said Diana Nicholson, the suspect's sister.

Hathaway's family says the ordeal will not truly be over until the jury reaches a verdict.

"Right now, what we need is for everyone's prayers and support in helping us get through this difficult time," said Beddingfield.

These two murders happened around the same time as some other high-profile murders including themurder of two law officers along Interstate 95and thekilling of Detective Paul Hale.