A North Carolina Democratic political strategist was pronounced dead early Wednesday after she and her husband were attacked in their home, allegedly by the best man at their wedding.
Police say they will charge Jonathan Broyhill, 31, with murder and assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill after he allegedly stabbed Jamie Kirk Hahn and her husband, Nation, 27, at their North Raleigh residence Monday evening. Jamie, 29, sustained fatal stab wounds to her abdomen. Nation has since been released from the hospital.
Broyhill is known as a longtime friend of the couple. He and Nation Hahn grew up in the same town and, according to a wedding announcement in a South Carolina paper, Broyhill was the best man at the Hahns’ wedding in 2009. In Facebook photos, Broyhill and Nation pose in various destinations, and in a photo dated Feb. 18, 2013, Broyhill and Jamie are pictured with their arms around each other. The caption, written by Nation, reads: “Happy Birthday to one of the best people and friends in the world—Jon Broyhill!” The trio also appear in the cover photo on Jamie’s Facebook page, wearing sunglasses and clinking piña coladas.
Since at least 2010, Broyhill has worked for Jamie’s policy firm, Sky Blue Strategies.
Former representative Brad Miller (D-NC) worked with both Jamie and Broyhill through Sky Blue in 2012 on his reelection campaign, which he ultimately abandoned. Miller told The Raleigh News & Observer that his campaign has been independently investigating Broyhill for alleged campaign-finance irregularities.
“Some of the things that Jon said about the campaign finances were inconsistent with other information,” Miller told the paper.
Miller hypothesized that the attack on the Hahns could have stemmed from a confrontation about the investigation.
“It’s probably the case that Jamie was asking questions on behalf of the campaign about campaign finances. I think it’s bound to be part of the investigation of Jon’s motive,” he said.
Police said the attack was not “domestic in nature,” but have yet to release a potential motive.
Broyhill was identified as the alleged assailant in a 911 phone call to police Monday. In the 5:30 p.m. call, an unidentified person describes Jamie Hahn as stabbed and “bleeding so badly.” Asked who the attacker was, the caller answers, “Jon Broyhill.”
Broyhill is awaiting charges at WakeMed hospital in Raleigh, where he is receiving medical care for self-inflicted stab wounds.
Gary Pearce, a friend of the Hahns and a fellow Democratic strategist, posted Wednesday on his blog Talking About Politics: “Jamie and Nation had a unique quality that people responded to. They liked people. Their home was a familiar gathering place.”
He continued: “Jamie liked politics, and she was good at it. She exemplified all that is good in politics.”
Since Monday, Nation Hahn has received an outpouring of sympathy notes on his Twitter page. Friends and colleagues have sent their condolences and reminisced about moments shared with Jamie.
Jamie Hahn’s LinkedIn account lists her as a former North Carolina finance director for Edwards’s presidential campaign in 2007.
Shortly after his wife’s death, Nation Hahn took to Twitter to express his grief. “I lost my best friend last night. The sadness is overwhelming.” Two more tweets came within minutes of each other, one reading: “I have no idea what I am going to do without @jamiehahn. She was my center, my rock and my soul mate.”
The Hahn and Kirk families released a combined statement Wednesday that called Jamie “dedicated.”
She “believed in justice, opportunity and fairness for all. She loved politics, and she saw the Democratic Party as the path to realize her ideals,” the family said. “She had a gift for bringing us together—black and white, young and old, gay and straight. She challenged us to work together for a better world.”
Jamie Hahn began her finance and fundraising work as soon as she graduated from college in 2006. She launched Sky Blue in 2009, a self-described “multiservice boutique firm focused around fundraising for nonprofits and political campaigns.” Nation Hahn is director of engagement at a design and consulting firm.
A memorial service for Jamie Hahn will be held Saturday.
Correction: An earlier version of this article incorrectly cited the source of a quote from Rep. Brad Miller. He talked to the Raleigh News & Observer, not the Charlotte Observer.