Chief of Police Willard Wayne Hathaway

Chief of Police Willard Wayne Hathaway

Sharpsburg Police Department, North Carolina

End of Watch Friday, July 18, 1997

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Willard Wayne Hathaway

Chief Willard Hathaway succumbed to a gunshot wound sustained the previous day after responding to a domestic dispute call. The suspect also shot and killed his wife during the incident.

The suspect was apprehended following a search involving several hundred officers. On November 10, 1999, the suspect was found guilty of two counts of first degree murder. On November 18, 1999, he was given two death sentences for the murder of his wife and Chief Hathaway, but the death sentence was overturned and he was sentenced to two life sentences.

Chief Hathaway had served as chief of the 6-man department for 25 years. He is survived by his son.


  • Age 47
  • Tour 23 years
  • Badge 601

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Incident Date Thursday, July 17, 1997
  • Weapon Handgun
  • Offender Sentenced to two life sentences

Most Recent Reflection

View all 33 Reflections

Hathaway was a wonderful friend. He lived near me in '96,'97. He always called me "Babygirl." I had 2 little girls and an abusive cheating husband. He would stop by just to play with the girls and make me laugh. He'd come see me at work and we'd go sing kareoke when I had a night off. He was like a brother, dad, and friend all in one! He looked out for me when I left my ex and would answer my call anytime I needed him. I was truly devastated when I heard what happened. He had given me one of his police shirts, his hat and badge that, and his very first pair of handcuffs that he had engraved his initials in with a pocket knife. I still have the badge and handcuffs. I was blessed to call him my friend. I am so very sorry that he was called away. I can't wait to see him again one day.

Trisha Mutchler
Friend and neighbor

June 19, 2019

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