Atkins Said Of Young Son: "I Want Him Dead"

Tuesday, October 7, 2003

A witness testified Tuesday that Dedrick Lamont Atkins said at the time his lifeless 5-year-old son was found, "I want him dead."

It was also testified in General Sessions Court that Atkins said he heard a voice from a TV show speaking to him.

Atkins was bound to the Grand Jury on a charge of first-degree murder in the Sept. 25 death of Dedric Johnson at Patten Towers on 11th Street.

Judge Clarence Shattuck, who termed it "a terrible situation," kept Atkins under no bond.

He said that, given the testimony, the defense at some point will seek to have the defendant undergo a mental examination.

Authorities said earlier, it was Dedric's first visit with his estranged father.

Tia Robinson, a Walden Security guard stationed at Patten Towers, said Atkins came down from his third floor unit and said, "I murdered my son."

She said Atkins was very calm.

Police were summoned, and Officer Keith Hudgins said Atkins took him upstairs. He said the boy was in the bathroom and had no pulse. He said there was warm water in the tub.

EMT Michael Sharp said he asked Atkins how long the boy had been without a pulse, and he said he had wanted him dead.

It was stated that Atkins told of beating, choking and drowning his five-year-old son.

Atkins, who has a lengthy criminal record mainly involving theft and assault, was interviewed at the Police Service Center by both child abuse and homicide detectives. But he gave no statement to them.

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


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