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JC robbery suspect kills self soon after arrest

KRISTEN SWING • Apr 21, 2007 at 12:42 PM

JOHNSON CITY - Two brothers and another man were arrested late Thursday night for their alleged involvement in a recent rash of armed robberies. Little more than 12 hours after being booked into jail for the crimes, one of the suspects killed himself, authorities said.

Around 10 p.m. Thursday, officers with the Johnson City Police Department and Tennessee Bureau of Investigation charged Dustin A. Hyatt, 22, 1208 Old State Road; Christopher G. Hyatt, 20, of the same address; and Richard K. Mahara, 21, 5 Trivette Concourse, No. 4, each with three counts of aggravated robbery.

According to authorities, the three men are responsible for the April 12 robbery of Roadrunner Market, 1310 Cherokee Road; Sunday night's robbery at Stop In Market, 3211 S. Roan St.; and Wednesday night's robbery at Wendy's on Peoples Street.

In all three crimes, two of the men allegedly entered the business, brandished a semi-automatic handgun known as a Mack 10 and demanded money from an employee.

"Christopher (Hyatt) and Dustin (Hyatt) were the two that actually committed the robberies. Richard (Mahara) was the driver in all three," said JCPD Lt. Matt Howell. "Two of them have confessed and one has made statements that implicate himself as well."

Authorities located one of the men Thursday evening at a convenience store on Unaka Avenue and found the other two men on Herb Hodge Road, where they reportedly were camping near Watauga Lake.

The three men were booked into the Washington County Detention Center shortly after midnight.

A little before 2 p.m. Friday, Dustin Hyatt reportedly was out of his cell during recreation time when he asked to return to the cell to use the bathroom. A short time later, officers discovered Hyatt lying on the floor, semiconscious with a sheet around his neck, authorities said.

WCDC staff administered CPR on Hyatt and used a defibrillator in an effort to revive him. Minutes later, Washington County/Johnson City Emergency Medical Service personnel arrived on scene and transported Hyatt to Johnson City Medical Center where he later died.

The TBI has been called in to assist in an investigation into Hyatt's death, although Washington County Sheriff Ed Graybeal said there are "no indications of foul play."

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