Late activist Eddie Hatcher's brother dies

May 14, 2009 

— Less than two weeks after Indian activist Eddie Hatcher died in Central Prison, his younger brother James "Aaron" Clark was found dead in his apartment in Hamlet. The cause of death was an apparent drug overdose.

Clark, 45, was found Tuesday.

"We think it was an accidental overdose," said his sister, Ginger Ammerman. Autopsy results were pending.

Ammerman said she was on her way to pick up Hatcher's ashes when she got the call from her cousin about Clark.

"I had planned to pick up Eddie's ashes and then stop by to see Aarie on the way back," said Ammerman. "Our aunt made him a cake, and I wanted to drop it by."

Ammerman said her younger brother had struggled with an addiction to painkillers for years. He'd dealt with chronic neck and back pain for many years and had gone through nine surgeries to his spine, she said. At 45, he looked much older and walked with a cane.

Clark and Ammerman had gone to visit Hatcher during his final weeks in the hospital at Central Prison. Ammerman said Clark had found religion in the last few years.

Clark "told Eddie he'd see him in heaven," said Ammerman. "Eddie said, 'You will?'"

She said Clark told her years ago that when he died he wanted no funeral or memorial.

"When things settle down," she said, "I'm scared I'm going to start crying and never stop."

Staff writer Ruth Sheehan

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