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Hostage rescues himself, shoots and kills one of two assailants

Originally ran here as:
"Man shot at Wilkes mobile home later dies"
Shooter says two men tried to rob him
by Jim Sparks, Journal Reporter
Winston-Salem Journal
March 09, 2002

BOOMER, NORTH CAROLINA -- Detectives are investigating the death of a man who was shot early yesterday at a mobile home in southwestern Wilkes County. The shooter told authorities that the man and a companion had tried to rob him after binding his hands with an electrical cord, Sheriff Dane Mastin said.

The shooting happened about 4 a.m. at the home of Roy Chatham and his son Jason Chatham, 25, at 528 Old Orchard Road off of Russell Gap Road and N.C. 18 South

Roy Chatham, a newspaper carrier for the Winston-Salem Journal, was working at the time of the shooting.

Deputies and emergency personnel went to the scene after Jason Chatham called 911 and told sheriff's dispatchers that he had shot an intruder.

When deputies arrived, they found Chatham at the place where the emergency call had been made: a relative's mobile home several hundred yards away from where the shooting had taken place.

"He was standing in his boxer shorts, with his hands still bound in front of him with the cord of an electric hair trimmer," Mastin said.

Mastin said that Chatham turned over a .32-caliber pistol.

Back at Chatham's mobile home, deputies and emergency personnel found a man who had been shot in the neck lying on the living-room floor.

Emergency personnel took him to Wilkes Regional Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead about an hour later.

Mastin identified him as Ted Marley Baker, 20, of Mulberry Creek Road in North Wilkesboro.

Pathologists at Wake Forest Baptist University Medical Center in Winston-Salem ruled that Baker bled to death after a bullet severed an artery in his neck.

Mastin said that Jason Chatham told investigators that the incident began when Baker and Kenneth Dale Church, 32, of Rock Quarry Road, east of North Wilkesboro, showed up at his door shortly before 4 a.m.

They said that their car had broken down and that they needed to use the phone and borrow a flashlight.

Chatham told investigators that because he knew Church, he let the men enter the mobile home. He did not know Baker.

He said that once inside, the two men grabbed him and held him in a headlock at knifepoint while they bound his hands.

They then forced him to lie down on a couch.

What the men didn't realize was that he had a pistol stashed there.

Chatham said that while the two men began pillaging the house for valuables, he was able to find the gun, which he grabbed and aimed.

He fired when he saw Baker reaching for what he believed was a weapon, he said.

He then took off outside, running barefoot up the gravel road to get away.

"He said he was scared to death," Mastin said.

The investigation into the case is continuing, the sheriff said.

Authorities have charged Church with kidnapping in the case.

Church had not been arrested last evening. He is white, about 5 feet, 10 inches tall and weighs about 180 pounds. He has a medium build, medium skin tone, blonde hair, hazel eyes, a pierced left ear and a tattoo on his left arm.

Jim Sparks can be reached in Wilkesboro at (336) 667-5691


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