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Judge Says Tuscarora Activist Should Go Back to North Carolina

March 15, 1989

WAMPSVILLE, N.Y. (AP) _ Fugitive Indian activist Timothy Jacobs cannot stay in New York state to avoid prosecution for the armed takeover of a North Carolina newspaper office in 1988, a judge ruled Tuesday.

Lawyers for Timothy Jacobs filed an appeal even before the ruling was issued, meaning he will remain in New York while the legal battle continues.

Jacobs and fellow Tuscarora Indian Eddie Hatcher, 31, both of Pembroke, N.C., used shotguns to hold 20 people hostage at The Robesonian newspaper in Lumberton, N.C., for 10 hours before surrendering in February 1988. Hatcher and Jacobs said they were trying to publicize allegations of corruption.

A task force formed by North Carolina Gov. Jim Martin later concluded that the corruption claims were unfounded.

Hatcher, who made an unsuccessful bid for political asylum last week at the Soviet consulate in San Francisco, appeared before a federal magistrate Monday and was ordered held there on federal flight charges until next week. The charge may expedite his return to North Carolina by avoiding state extradition proceedings.

The two men were first tried and acquitted in federal court on hostage- taking and firearms charges, but then were indicted by a Robeson County grand jury last December on state kidnapping charges.

Jacobs fled North Carolina before he could be arrested and tried to take refuge at the Onondaga Indian Reservation near Syracuse. New York police arrested him for speeding in December.

Hatcher fled to Idaho, but was arrested Friday by the FBI in San Francisco.

In Wampsville, Madison County Judge William O’Brien III rejected claims that Jacobs’ life would be in danger if returned to North Carolina because of his knowledge of corruption.

″You’ve spent the entire time here with the same information about drug trafficking and there has been no evidence of any harm to you or any threats to you,″ O’Brien told Jacobs, 20.

The judge revoked Jacobs’ $25,000 bail. A hearing was scheduled Monday to see if Hatcher, 31, should be allowed to post bond.

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