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Eddie Hatcher Gets Life Sentence

LUMBERTON, NC – Wednesday, May 23, a Robeson County jury sentenced Eddie Hatcher to life in prison. Sentencing hearing procedures began Monday and continued through Wednesday afternoon with both the prosecution and Hatcher’s defense lawyers presenting arguments. The jury reached its sentence verdict in just under 2 ½ hours.

Last week, the same jury convicted Hatcher of first-degree murder in the May 31, 1999, drive-by shooting of 19-year-old Brian McMillian of Maxton, NC. The prosecution said Hatcher believed McMillian had broken into his trailer.

Hatcher will not be eligible for parole under this sentence.

Hatcher showed no reaction to the jury’s verdict, but appeared somber according to courtroom observers. His lawyers notified the court of Hatcher’s intention to appeal the verdict. Hatcher will represent himself on appeal.

Hatcher had made headlines in Robeson County for 13 years. The Tuscarora activist, as he was known in the media, took hostages at The Robesonian newspaper in 1988 in what he said was an attempt to draw attention to corruption among county officials. Hatcher’s allegations were never substantiated by state and federal authorities. After that incident, he was sentenced to prison, paroled and returned to Robeson County.

Hatcher, 43, hugged his mother, Thelma Clark, and sister, Ginger Ammerman, as he left the Robeson County Courthouse in leg shackles and handcuffs bound for Central Prison in Raleigh, NC.

"He will remain in prison for the rest of his life," District Attorney Johnson Britt said. "Does that mean Eddie Hatcher is gone? I doubt it. Eddie Hatcher has learned to use the media and other people to get his platform in front of folks."

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