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: ADAMS, BARRY MALONE  207 SPEARS AVE CHATTANOOGA, 37405  Age at Arrest: 34 years old Arresting Agency: Hamilton County Booked for Previous Charges or Other Reason(s) --- AUSTIN, VICTOR JAMES  226 COUNTY ROAD 806 WHITEROCK, 35966  Age at Arrest: 26 years old Arresting Agency: Hamilton ... (click for more)

Woodmore Elementary On Half-Day Schedule Tuesday

Due to the air conditioning unit being down, Woodmore Elementary School will operate on a half-day schedule, Tuesday.  Parents have been notified by the principal through a BlackboardConnect message.  Buses will run the morning routes as normal but school will dismiss at 12:30 p.m.  Buses will run at 12:30 p.m.  Car riders and walkers will also be dismissed ... (click for more)

Sheriff Hammond Is Right On The Muslim Threat

Sheriff Hammond is exactly correct on the Muslims in Tennessee.  He sees with clear eyes the problem with the Muslims in our state and country.  They do want to take over Tennessee.  Our politicians are selling us down the river and allowing the trouble makers to dig in like tics and suck out the life's blood of our Constitution and take us over.  They ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: My September Garden

As we begin the annual pilgrimage into fall, I walk through my garden and, in the spirit of Orchids and Onions, I see colorful mums starting to flower at the same time dried-up weeds are begging to be pulled. So as we turn the calendar to September, here are some things that catch my eye: A COLORFUL MUM to Chattanooga State for unveiling the Michael Hennen Hospitality Center in ... (click for more)

Jumper, Ex-Baylor Star, To Start For Vols Against Bowling Green

When 25 th -ranked Tennessee plays Bowling Green on Saturday afternoon at Nissan Stadium in Nashville, former Baylor School standout Colton Jumper will be the Vols’ starting middle linebacker. The 6-foot-2-inch, 227-pound Jumper played at Baylor for coach Phil Massey and recorded 251 tackles, 39 tackles for loss, 22 sacks, two interceptions, caused five fumbles, recovered two ... (click for more)

County Schools Waiting On Report On Condition Of East Ridge High Stands

County school officials are awaiting a report from city of East Ridge inspectors on the condition of the concrete football stands at East Ridge High School. Lee McDade, assistant supt., said maintenance of the stands is up to the county schools. The concrete stands are currently roped off. The concrete complex includes a lower area with coaches' offices and player dressing ... (click for more)