Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

Local News

May 18, 2013

War mayor’s death: Click trial continued

WELCH — The trial of Earl Click, the man who was charged along with his sister, Rebecca Lynn Hatcher, with the July 17, 2012 murder of Dr. Thomas Hatcher, mayor of War, has been continued according to the McDowell County prosecuting attorney’s office. The trial had been scheduled to start on Monday.

Click, 27, who was living in Grundy, Va., at the time of his arrest, was indicted by a McDowell County grand jury on one count of murder in the first degree and one count of felony conspiracy. Hatcher, 32, was also indicted on one count each of first-degree murder and felony conspiracy.

At the time of the arrests of Click and Rebecca Hatcher, investigating deputies with the McDowell County Sheriff’s Department said that the two “most likely” entered Mayor Hatcher’s residence to rob him of money to buy prescription pills. The two allegedly took $1,100 from Mayor Hatcher after allegedly committing the murder. Rebecca Hatcher was Mayor Hatcher’s daughter-in-law. She was married to Mayor Hatcher’s son, John.

Mayor Hatcher, 72, had been a much-traveled professional educator who had returned to his hometown of War to try to make a difference. He taught in McDowell County Schools, was active in civic organizations and worked with historical societies in McDowell County as well as Tazewell County, Va.

A few months prior to his death, Mayor Hatcher was interviewed at length in a national publication where he shared his opinion of how the problem of prescription drug abuse has affected every family in War. “We’re just overwhelmed by prescription drugs,” Mayor Hatcher was quoted as saying in the article written by Vince Beiser.

Click is scheduled to appear before Judge Booker T. Stephens in McDowell County Circuit Court at 9:30 a.m. on Monday to schedule a new trial date. Rebecca Hatcher’s trial that was scheduled to start on June 10 will likely also be continued, according to the prosecutor’s office.

— Contact Bill Archer at barcher@bdtonline.com

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