Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

November 4, 2013

Hatcher to take the stand in her own defense in murder trial of War mayor

By Bill Archer
Bluefield Daily Telegraph

WELCH — Day four of the Rebecca Hatcher murder trial got underway today with an expert witness testifying for the defense, and claiming War Mayor Tom Hatcher died of natural causes.

“I believe the cause of death was natural,” Dr. William Manion testified under direct examination by defense counsel Keith Flinchum. “He’s a sick man. He’s got a lousy heart.”

On cross examination by McDowell County Prosecutor Edward Kornish, Manion agreed that he had stated that an expert witness can “muddy the waters” on a national television broadcast. Manion has appeared with Nancy Grace, Anderson Cooper, on 20/20 and CNN and other national shows commenting on legal issues.

Rebecca Hatcher is due to take the stand when trial resumes at 1:15 p.m.

Rebecca Hatcher, 32, of War, and her brother, Earl J. Click, 27, of Grundy, Va., are both charged with one count each of first degree murder and conspiracy in the death of Tom Hatcher. Investigators allege that the two defendants also stole $1,100 from the mayor to purchase drugs.

Tom Hatcher was found dead shortly before noon on July 17, 2012 by city of War employees who went to check on him when he didn’t appear for work.