Police: War mayor killed for $1,100 to buy drugs

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- War Mayor Tom Hatcher's daughter-in-law and her brother robbed and killed the elderly man to get money to buy drugs, police said Friday.Rebecca Lynn Hatcher, 31, and Earl Click, 25, were arrested and charged with first-degree murder Thursday night.Rebecca Hatcher was the McDowell County mayor's daughter-in-law and had been living with him, according to an interview Tom Hatcher gave earlier this year. Click is Rebecca Hatcher's brother. He is from War, but had been living in Grundy, Va.Tom Hatcher, 72, was found dead Tuesday when co-workers went to check on him.McDowell County Sheriff's Chief Deputy Mark Shelton and Deputy Ron Blevins investigated and found evidence of foul play. They spoke with neighbors who identified Rebecca Hatcher and Click as suspects, Shelton -- who also is the chief of police in War -- said at a news conference Friday.Sheriff's deputies initially reported that Tom Hatcher had died from natural causes. They lied about that because they didn't want the suspects to flee the state, Shelton said Friday.Police believe Rebecca Hatcher and her brother robbed Hatcher to buy prescription pills. They took at least $1,100 from him after the slaying, according to a criminal complaint filed in McDowell County Magistrate Court.
Tom Hatcher was an advocate for ending prescription pill abuse in his town and said it had affected many within his family and nearly everyone around him."There isn't a family that hasn't been affected," he told Playboy magazine in April in an article about prescription drug abuse. "We're just overwhelmed by prescription drugs."Hatcher said his son John, 36, has been addicted for years. John lived with Rebecca Hatcher and their 11-year-old son inside Hatcher's home.Tom Hatcher told the magazine he kept his bedroom door locked because John had stolen things to sell for pills.Hatcher's body has been sent to the state Medical Examiner's Office for an autopsy. Shelton would not release a cause of death, pending the examiner's report.Click was being held in the Southwest Virginia Regional Jail in Duffield, Va., awaiting an extradition hearing. Hatcher was being held without bail in the Southwestern Regional Jail in Holden.Reach Travis Crum at travis.crum@wvgazette.com or 304-348-5163.
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