Suspect in Jamie Hahn slaying reportedly made false cancer claim

jshaffer@newsobserver.com ablythe@newsobserver.com tmcdonald@newsobserver.comApril 25, 2013 

  • Reaction on Twitter

    Posts on Wednesday about Jamie Hahn:

    “We mourn the loss of Jamie Hahn. Her spirit was a light for so many & she will be missed dearly. The Hagans’ prayers are with her family.”

    Sen. Kay Hagan

    “I wish that @jamiehahn could see and feel all of the love, generosity and friendship offered.”

    Nation Hahn

    “Sending my thoughts & prayers of peace to @NationHahn & family. Jamie was a beautiful person beloved by so many of us.”

    Cate Edwards, daughter of former U.S. Sen. John Edwards

    “The world lost a beautiful soul when @jamiehahn moved on. We owe it to her & @NationHahn to love more, hate less and care for one another.”

    Lori Bush

  • Services for Jamie Hahn

    The family will receive visitors from 5 to 7 p.m. Friday at Pullen Memorial Baptist Church on Hillsborough Street in Raleigh. A memorial service is set for 11 a.m. Saturday at Pullen.

    Memorial contributions may be made to the Hope Center at Pullen Memorial Baptist Church, 1801 Hillsborough St., Raleigh, NC 27605. Contributions should be marked “Raising Hope Dinner.”

— In the past year, Jonathan Broyhill told friends he was suffering both from pancreatic cancer and multiple sclerosis – a diagnosis that was at least partially untrue.

His accounts of sickness add to questions about his state of mind in the days before his friend, political strategist Jamie Kirk Hahn, 29, was stabbed in her North Raleigh home.

Last week, Hahn and her husband, Nation, asked the Rev. Nancy Petty, pastor of Pullen Memorial Baptist Church, to request prayers for Broyhill and his cancer struggle. The Hahns and Broyhill were active at Pullen.

On Wednesday, after Jaime Hahn died of her injuries, Petty told about two dozen congregants gathered for a dinner that Broyhill did not have the disease, according to church members.

Broyhill, 31, who was initially charged with assaulting Hahn, remains at WakeMed with self-inflicted injuries, police said. His hospital stay has complicated the legal process because he is entitled to an appearance before a magistrate within 24 hours of a charge. Raleigh police have said they plan to charge Broyhill with murder.

Broyhill and Nation Hahn, 27, were childhood friends from Lenoir in Caldwell County. Broyhill served as best man in the couple’s 2009 wedding, and the three of them appear in photos together on Facebook.

For several years, Broyhill has told friends of his MS condition. Earlier this month, Nation Hahn participated in a walk to benefit MS research.

Amy Holsclaw, a former co-worker and friend in Caldwell County, said Broyhill described being on an aggressive form of MS medication for the past two years. Despite this, she saw no change in his behavior.

“He seemed depressed, and I know he went through stress with MS,” she said, “but other than that he was Jon, and Jon was a good guy.”

Jamie Hahn was stabbed numerous times in the abdomen Monday evening. Friends reported that her husband was upstairs, changing into gym clothes, when he heard his wife scream. He ran down to find her being attacked. He received cuts on both hands as he tried to stop the violence.

Several friends said Broyhill told the Hahns he had an appointment with a doctor on Tuesday and asked them to come with him. He had planned to spend the night at the Hahn home, friends said. But neither the cancer nor the appointment existed.

‘Like a fixture there’

Neighbors in Tealwood Place, the North Raleigh cul-de-sac where the Hahns lived, said they thought Broyhill lived with them, because his car was parked in front of the residence at all hours in recent months.

Mars Delacuesta, who also lives in the cul-de-sac, said Broyhill’s silver Volvo S40, “was always there.”

“It’s there every day,” Delacuesta said Thursday about Broyhill’s car. “I thought they lived together. That’s his permanent parking spot over there.”

Delacuesta, who moved into Tealwood Place about a year ago, said he first noticed the Volvo in front of the Hahns’ home about “two months, maybe three months ago.”

“I noticed it because nobody parks on the street,” he said. “It’s like a fixture there.”

Campaign-finance questions

Questions have risen over campaign-finance reports Broyhill made while working for Jamie Hahn’s firm, Sky Blue Strategies.

Former Democratic U.S. Rep. Brad Miller, who decided not to seek re-election in 2012, said he hired Sky Blue for fundraising help around 2010. Broyhill was the main person with access to fundraising software, Miller said.

In October, the Federal Elections Commission sent Miller campaign treasurer John Wallace a letter requesting more information about documents that appeared to show donors receiving refunds from the campaign in excess of what they paid.

Miller said he suspects Jamie Hahn was asking questions on behalf of the campaign about finances. “I think it’s bound to be part of the investigation of Jon’s motive,” the former congressman said Wednesday.

It’s unclear whether Broyhill was still working with Sky Blue Strategies. He is no longer listed on the firm’s website, though the voicemail for the business asks callers whether they want to leave a message for Jon Broyhill or Jamie Hahn.

Nation Hahn had been asking friends and associates in recent weeks whether they knew of job openings for Broyhill.

Shaffer: 919-829-4818