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Broyhill formally charged with murdering Jamie Hahn

By Thomasi McDonald
tmcdonald@newsobserver.com

RALEIGH Jonathan Broyhill was formally charged Tuesday with murdering Jamie Hahn, more than a week after he was hospitalized with what police described as “self-inflicted injuries.”

Broyhill, 31, was charged also with assaulting and attempting to murder Hahn’s husband, Nation Hahn, on April 22 at the couple’s home in North Raleigh. He had been at WakeMed before being moved to the Wake County Detention Center on Hammond Road to appear Tuesday morning before a magistrate.

Broyhill arrived in a wheelchair pushed by a Wake County sheriff’s deputy, and had bandages on both wrists.

On Tuesday afternoon, Broyhill appeared before Wake County District Court Judge Keith Gregory, who told him that he could face the death penalty or life in prison without parole if convicted of murder. Broyhill also faces life without parole if convicted of attempting to murder Nation Hahn.

Broyhill was accompanied by his attorney, Wake County public defender Joseph Arbour, who said that Broyhill will be housed in Central Prison for the time being, instead of the Wake County jail, for “safekeeping” because of his medical needs.

“There is a medical facility at (Wake County jail) to handle some things, but for some types of medical problems individuals are sent to Central Prison because there is a hospital attached,” said Arbour, who would not discuss Broyhill’s medical condition.

He also declined to comment when asked whether Broyhill had undergone a psychological evaluation.

Jamie Hahn, 29, a political fundraiser for several major Democratic Party candidates, died at WakeMed in the early morning on April 24. Nation Hahn, 27, was also injured in the attack April 22 but was released from the hospital the next day.

Police have not disclosed a possible motive for the stabbing, but former U.S. Rep. Brad Miller has raised the possibility that it could be related to Broyhill’s handling of contributions to his campaign.

Miller hired Jamie Hahn, a founder of Sky Blue Strategies, a company that helped politicians and issue-oriented campaigns with fundraising, in 2010 to work on his campaign. She brought on Broyhill, a longtime friend of her husband who had a background in accounting, and he helped with the books.

Last week, Miller asked PNC Bank to freeze his campaign account after he discovered that Broyhill had written questionable checks to himself and that the account had been emptied. Miller said Jamie Hahn had been asked to look into the issue on behalf of the campaign.

After Tuesday’s hearing, Arbour said that he had been appointed by the state capital defender’s office to represent Broyhill before he was formally charged because the case had received so much publicity.

Arbour said he had spoken with Broyhill’s father and stepmother.

“They are shocked by the charges,” he said. “No one saw this coming.”

Nation Hahn and Broyhill both grew up in Lenoir, and the two men, along with Jamie Hahn, shared common interests beyond their jobs as Democratic strategists, fundraisers and campaigners.

They often watched college basketball together, and Jamie Hahn’s Facebook wall shows a photo of the three sipping drinks with umbrellas perched in their glasses.

On most Monday nights, the three gathered at the Hahn home for supper, friends said.

Friends said that Nation Hahn was upstairs, changing into gym clothes last Monday, when he heard his wife scream. He ran down to find her being attacked and was cut on both hands as he tried to stop it.

Investigators have not disclosed what happened inside the Hahns’ home. But Jamie Hahn left a trail of blood as she fled the house on Tealwood Place and sought help.

A block away, residents on Tealbriar Drive said they heard someone screaming, “Help! Help!” When they came outside, they say they saw Jamie Hahn at the front door of a home at Tealwood and Rainwater drives. She was alone. Nation Hahn had already crossed Rainwater Drive and was on Tealbriar, about 50 yards ahead of his wife.

No one answered the door at the home where Jamie Hahn was knocking and screaming for help. She then crossed Rainwater Drive and went to another home at Rainwater and Tealbriar. She made it to the front steps and collapsed in the front yard, more than 100 yards from where she had been stabbed in the abdomen.

Nation Hahn had gone to a home across the street to call 911, but a woman on Tealbriar Drive had already phoned for help, according to a police report.

Broyhill is being held under $1 million bail for the attempted murder and felony assault charges. He was not given benefit of bail for the murder charge, court records show.

McDonald: 919-829-4533
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