Indian activist dies in prison

May 1, 2009 2:27:46 PM PDT
Eddie Hatcher, who was serving a life sentence for a 1999 murder, died of natural causes Friday morning at Central Prison.Hatcher, 51, was a well known figure in Robeson County after taking 20 members of the staff of the local newspaper hostage in 1988. Armed with shotguns and a pistol, he and fellow Tuscarora Indian Timothy Jacobs demanded that then-Governor Jim Martin start an investigation of corruption in the county.

They surrendered 10 hours later when Martin signed their list of demands.

He received an 18-year sentence for kidnapping in 1990 and was paroled in 1995 because he developed AIDS and returned to Robeson County.

Then, in 1999, he was accused of a drive-by shooting in Maxton. Nineteen year old drug dealer Brian McMillan was shot twice and killed, and prosecutors said Hatcher did it because he was angry about McMillan's involvement in a break-in at his mobile home. A jury found Hatcher guilty and a judge sent him to jail for life.


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