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March 8, 2007

Editor held at gunpoint in office

RICHMOND — Richmond Register Editor Jim Todd was held hostage at gunpoint for an hour and a half Wednesday in his office by his brother, who admitted he had shot his wife to death Tuesday night in Lexington.

John William Todd Jr., 62, turned himself in to deputies at the Fayette County sheriff’s department late Wednesday night. He was charged with murdering his wife.

Todd Jr. was waiting in Jim Todd’s office when he arrived at work Wednesday morning saying that he was having “marital problems.” John Todd then told his brother that he had shot his wife to death about 10:30 Tuesday night following a lengthy, heated domestic dispute.

John Todd said his wife of less than one year had launched into an unrelenting tirade against him the night before, and he told his brother that he “just couldn’t take it anymore.”

Todd then told the editor that he had come there to kill him and brandished a .38 caliber revolver, holding it about two feet away from the editor’s chest for about an hour and a half. The older brother indicated that he had harbored ill feelings toward his brother and his dad ever since their father’s death in 1989, concerning the father’s will.

“He said he knew he would be dead sometime today and that’s why he had come to kill me,” Jim Todd said.

But when the editor attempted to stand up, John Todd pointed the gun closer and ordered him to sit down or he would shoot him. He then recanted and said although he had come to kill him, he would not do so if he would do one thing for him.

“When I asked what that was, he said, ‘Only if you will tell my children that I did come here to kill you, but that I didn’t,’” the editor said.

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