Man Who Killed 5-Year-Old Son At Patten Towers In 2003 Gets 15-Year Sentence

Monday, September 17, 2012

A man who told officers about beating, choking and drowning his five-year-old son at his Patten Towers apartment in 2003 on Monday morning pleaded guilty to second-degree murder.

Dedrick Lamont Atkins, who was 26 at the time of the incident, was sentenced to 15 years in prison.

Prosecutor Neal Pinkston said Atkins has remained in custody since the incident, mainly at the Middle Tennessee Mental Health Institute. He said it was only in 2011 that he was ruled competent to stand trial.

Atkins told Criminal Court Judge Don Poole that he has been "hearing voices" since he was a child.

Judge Poole stressed that he should stay on his medicines "so you do not harm yourself or others."

Atkins had been charged with first-degree murder.  

He will be given credit for the time he was held in psychiatric facilities.

Atkins was charged in the death of five-year-old Dedric Johnson. The child was found lifeless in his father's third-floor apartment after his father reported him dead to the lobby security guard, who in turn called police and paramedics.

Atkins, who has a lengthy criminal record, was interviewed for several hours afterward at the Police Service Center by both child abuse and homicide detectives.  

Police said the child died from extreme blunt and physical trauma.

This was five-year-old Dedric's first visitation with his estranged father, it was stated.

Police said Atkins refused to give a statement to officers, but that he "made spontaneous statements to EMS personnel about killing the child. He gave details how he beat, choked and drowned the victim."

It said an examination of the child showed trauma about the head, ligature marks around the neck, and that his clothes were wet.

In 2004, a $1 million lawsuit was filed in the death of the child brought by Sherry Johnson, mother of the young victim.

It was filed against Moccasin Bend Mental Health Institute, Dr. Doloroso B Yap, Patten Towers LP II, Yarco Company and Walden Security.

The suit says the child was killed "by his mentally ill father." It says the father had been released by Moccasin Bend on Sept. 19, though a few days earlier he was deemed too dangerous to be released.

The complaint was also brought against Patten Towers, claiming inadequate security.


Latest Hamilton County Jail Booking Report

Here is the latest jail booking report from Hamilton County: ANDERSON, ADEN M 730 EAST AVE CHATTANOOGA, 37411 28 Chattanooga CRIMINAL TRESPASSING ASLINGER, JEFFERY JAMES 1504 GREEN POND ROAD SODDY DAISY, 37379 44 Soddy Daisy DRIVING ON REVOKED LICENSE POSSESSION OF DRUG PARAPHERNALIA BATES, JOE EDWARD 2472 ELLA DR CLEVELAND, 37323 20 ... (click for more)

Fort Oglethorpe Arrest Report For Dec. 12-18

Here is the Fort Oglethorpe arrest report for Dec. 12-18: Marshall George Wilson, 53, of 75 Pineridge Drive, Rossville was arrested December 17 on charges of child molestation, rape and aggravated sodomy.   Stephon Q. Bishop, 19, of 122 Lilac Lane, Fort Oglethorpe was arrested December 12 on a probation violation. Anthony Lynn Duckett, 32, of 92 Breezy Trail, ... (click for more)

Please Don't Close The Piccadilly Cafeteria At Hamilton Place - And Response

Oh, no. The Piccadilly Cafeteria at Hamilton Place is closing.  Its last day is Christmas Eve.  I will miss the great food they have there but most of all I will miss their servers, cashiers and waitresses.  They are all so friendly and accommodating.  They make it like it’s a home-style restaurant. I sure wish there was some way that Hamilton Place and ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: ‘Scrooge’ Of The Year

As we move into the last weekend before Christmas, the “Scrooge of the Year” has just appeared in Aurora, Ill. Actually Connie Ley has just died. She passed away on Nov. 25, but in her wake left the worst will many around the country have ever heard – her last wishes included that her nine-year-old dog should be put to death, cremated, and buried with her. Bela, a beautiful German ... (click for more)

Red Bank Falls To Riverdale, 77-64, In Rhea Tournament

 EVENSVILLE, Tenn. – Red Bank basketball coach Nick Fike has a method to his madness. Fike has the Lions playing in this week’s Hoops Holiday Tournament at Rhea County High School and also will guide them in the Sonic Shootout at White County on Dec. 27 and 29-30. “It’s all about getting ready for the district (6-AA) tournament,” Fike said Friday night after the Lions ... (click for more)

McCallie, Cleveland lead McCallie Mat Tourney

Two former McCallie Invitational champs - host McCallie and Cleveland - are one-two in the team standings, respectively, and head into Saturday morning with a combined 13 wrestlers in the championship semifinals. McCallie, who last won this tourney in 2010 has seven wrestlers in the semis, while the Blue Raiders captured the inaugural event in 1981 under former head ... (click for more)