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By HELLE NIELSEN
Robeson County residents were
surprised but pleased by the acquit
tals of Eddie Hatcher and Timothy
Jacobs, who were charged in the
takeover of a Robeson County
newspaper, but questions about
corruption and discrimination in the
county's legal system remain, resi
dents said in interviews this week.
Hatcher and Jacobs were acquitted
of all federal hostage-taking and
weapons charges stemming from the
takeover of The Robesonian news
paper Feb. 1, when they held 20
people hostage for about 10 hours.
Throughout the men's trial, defense
lawyers argued that the Tuscarora
Indians acted to save their lives,
because they had information linking
law enforcement officers to drug
The hostage-taking helped gener
ate positive changes in the county
such as the establishment of a dispute
resolution center, which will increase
awareness of injustices in the legal
system, said the Rev. Robert Lee
I N v
' J "" M
The Chapel Hill Coalition for Freedom to Dissent held a rally In the
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Thursday, October 27
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Mangum of Pembroke.
"There will never be a perception
that the county is clean until we have
a thorough investigation and a
thorough airing of the whole issue of
corruption," Mangum said.
The acquittals could help bring
evidence about law enforcement
officers involvement in drug traffick
ing into the open, said Jennifer
Mickels, a community organizer with
the Rural Advancement Fund in
"If Hatcher and Jacobs had been
found guilty, people would have been
less likely to come forward with
information they have," Mickels said.
"Now that they were sort of blessed,
people may come forward a little bit
easier. It can enhance organizing
The acquittals were a victory for
poor people and for those "tradition
ally oppressed," Mickels said.
Many of The Robesonian's
employees and some county residents
were enraged by the acquittals, but
many others felt corruption in the
." V -I
Lt. Governor Bob Jordan
Senator Tony Rand
U.S. Senator Terry Sanford
Congressman David Price
Governor Bill Clinton
'The Influence of the Media
in Campaigns" 2:00pm -Rm
And all Democratic Council State
Tuesday, Oct. 25
11:45 am -The Pit
(Rain site: Great Hall)
contact Wayne Goodwin
y rotnoo reman n. o or
county's law enforcement system
drove the two to take action, Man
"Many believe ,s . . the boys were
desperate and felt they could not trust
anyone with the information they
had," he said. "They felt they had to
do something desperate to stop what
they felt was cancerous corruption in
Defense lawyer Lewis Pitts
applauded the jury for being cour
ageous and for "sticking by the law"
in recognizing Hatcher and Jacobs
did not act with criminal intent but
Assistant U.S. Attorney John
Bruce, who prosecuted the case,
called the acquittals "a failure of
advocacy" on his part.
The hostages' side of the story was
largely untold before the trial, Bruce ,
said. "I believe anyone who was
present in the courtroom when they
testified would realize that there was
real terror in that situation on Feb.
The verdict was not a political one,
Pitts said, but it did imply "some -
Pit Thursday to protest restrictions
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judgment on the conditions in Robe
Defense attorneys had hoped to
shed light on allegations about county
officials' involvement in drug traffick
ing through testimony from people
with first-hand knowledge of the
situation, including Robeson County
Sheriff Hubert Stone. But U.S.
District Judge Terrence Boyle over
turned an earlier decision and out
ruled the necessity defense, prevent
ing the defense from calling most of
In affidavits submitted by the
defense, two Robeson ministers,
Mangum and the Rev. Jerry Lowry,
both said they had been contacted by
constituents, involved in drug
"(A) person came to me in con
fidence within the last year seeking
spiritual counseling," Lowry said.
"This person reiterated what had
already been told to me by other
persons with similar first-hand
knowledge and involvement: that
cocaine was plentiful in Robeson
DTH Becky Kirkland
on student expression at UNC
County, and county law enforcement
officials were participants in this
The same person called the sheriffs
department with information about
a drug deal, but the department
showed no interest in the informa
tion, Lowry said. -i
Some members of the sheriffs
department also may have told drug
suspects about upcoming law
enforcement raids so they could avoid
arrest, Lowry said.
Defense lawyers have criticized the
FBI drug task force for failing to
indict major drug dealers despite two
years of investigations in the county.
If the task force had used its powers
fully, including the possibility to grant
witnesses immunity from prosecu
tion, they should have been able to
gather enough evidence for indict
ments, Pitts said.
"The cocaine dealing in Robeson
County is so open and well known
that if (the FBI) were acting in good
faith they could have cleared it up,"
Assistant U.S. Attorney William
ing his political beliefs is wrong," he
said. "That shouldn't happen in the
United States. It happens in South
America. It happens in the Soviet
Union. It shouldn't happen here."
Students should care about what
happened to McKinley because it
could just as easily happen to them,
"The point is not that Dale McKin
ley will suffer," he said. "The point
is that we will suffer if we dont protest
what is going on. When the civil
liberties of any student are threa
tened, the civil liberties of all students
The length of McKinley 's sentence
is disproportionate to his offense, said
Jurgen Buchenau, an International
Action member and Student Con
"A person can get 21 days for
cutting up someone's face in a state
of drunkenness," he said. "This is like
being punished for a felony."
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Webb, head of the drug task force,
told UNC law professor Barry Nakell
last spring that that he would hand
down 40 indictments on Robeson
County drug trafficking charges in
August, ' Nakell said. In August,
Webb said the indictments would be
filed in September, but nothing has
happened since, Nakell said.
Webb said he never told Nakell
about the indictments. "I never said
that to anybody, any place," Webb
said. "We have been seeking and
obtaining indictments for the last two
years. It has been an ongoing
The acquittal of former Robeson
Deputy Sheriff Mitchell Stevens
illustrated the difficulty of prosecut
ing law enforcement officials relying
on drug dealers testimony, Webb
i learned that , when you try
somebody like a law enforcement
officer and use somebody who admit
ted to being a drug dealer, it is very
difficult to obtain a conviction," he
from psgs 1
Diana McDuffee, a representative
of the Carolina Interfaith Task Force,
said the Honor Court has been
misused by the University, which is
supporting the CIA.
"The Honor Court is being used
as an instrument of repression by the
University," she said.
Students are losing their freedom
to dissent and should act upon that,
said Graham Entwistle, a UNC
student who was arrested and charged
with disorderly conduct with McKin
ley on Oct. 28, 1987. Entwistle,
McKinley and other student protes
ters chained themselves together to
block the entrance to rooms in Hanes
Hall where CIA recruiters were
"The right to dissent is slowly being
squelched on this campus," Entwistle
said. "The freedom to dissent is a
time-honored tradition that is now
becoming an honor of doing time."
THE OLD COUNTRY
Wednesday, Nov. 2, 1988
t 1:00-4:00 p.m.
Elliott University Center
Alexander and Phillips Rms.
Sunday, Dec. 11, 1988
12:00 - 5:00 p.m.
Festhaus Rehearsal Hall
Opportunity Employer. MFH
2 1 S