WELCH, W.Va. — A McDowell County jury found the daughter-in-law of War Mayor Tom Hatcher not guilty in his murder.
The panel returned its verdict Wednesday afternoon in the Becky Hatcher case after deliberating for a day and a half. Hatcher, 32, and her brother, 27-year-old Earl Click of Grundy, Va., allegedly killed Mayor Hatcher, 72, in his home on July 17, 2012—a day after the mayor threatened to prosecute her for various crimes involving his money.
Hatcher testified in her own defense Monday. McDowell County Prosecutor Ed Kornish said she denied having any part in the beating death of the popular mayor.
“She’s a pretty compelling witness,” Kornish told MetroNews.
Becky’s Hatcher’s mother, younger sister and stepfather all testified she was asleep in her mother’s home near Grundy, Va. when the murder took place.
Kornish said he believed he had enough evidence to convict Hatcher, including her fingerprints and a palm print on a plastic bag found in the mayor’s bedroom. The jury thought otherwise.
“That’s the way our system is. It’s incumbent upon the state to prove the case beyond a reasonable doubt and I don’t think the jury, after due consideration, thought that we had,” Kornish said.
The jury deadlocked Wednesday on a conspiracy to commit murder charge. Becky Hatcher will be tried again on that charge next year. The judge set her bail at $10,000. If freed on bond, she’ll be ordered to stay in West Virginia until the second trial.
Kornish said Earl Click will still go on trial next year.
“We have some different, additional evidence in his case.”
Becky’s husband and Mayor Hatcher’s son, John Hatcher, has been jailed for forging his father’s checks. Kornish said he recently became eligible for work release. Tom Hatcher was overheard telling Becky Hatcher the day before he died that he prosecuted John and would prosecute her also.