Local News

Violette Pastor: 'This Is Not John'

Posted January 17, 2007
Updated January 18, 2007

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— A 4-year-old girl's slaying and her father's arrest for it continue to shock those who know the family, nearly a week later.

John Patrick Violette, 37, of Clayton, was officially charged with first-degree murder Wednesday in his daughter Katlin's death. His wife, Amber Violette, discovered the body when she returned home from work Friday.

Authorities said the child's head had been severed from her body in a scene that disturbed emergency responders to the home and people throughout the Triangle who read about or heard about the killing.

"This is not John," said Stephen Davey, senior pastor at Colonial Baptist Church in Cary.

Davey said Wednesday that John Violette was a devoted father who, along with his wife, attended Colonial Baptist regularly. Amber Violette, he said, was in church Sunday and asked church members to pray for her husband.

There could possibly be information that comes out over time to help explain what allegedly happened, Davey said. What that information is, however, he declined to say.

Clayton police officers and State Bureau of Investigation agents had flown to Washington, D.C., early Wednesday to pick up John Violette from the custody of the U.S. Marshal's Service.

They took him to Smithfield for his initial court appearance, where District Judge Andy Corbett denied bond, ruling that John Violette is a flight risk and citing the "heinous nature" of the crime.

Clayton police said they found John Violette's vehicle parked at Raleigh-Durham International Airport late Friday. Authorities used credit card information to track him down at a hotel near Capitol Hill.

Extra security was in place at the courthouse because of the intense publicity surrounding the case and the strong emotions it stirred in the community. Violette, who was shackled and dressed in an orange-and-white jumpsuit, remained silent during the brief hearing.

After several days of investigation, Clayton Police Chief Glen Allen said there is still no known motive in the case.

"The evidence has only led us to him," Allen said. "After a thorough review of the evidence, I'm confident in the case that has been presented."

According to a search warrant, police seized a kitchen knife and a butcher knife from the Violettes' home as evidence.

Allen said investigators executed a second search warrant Wednesday to obtain DNA samples from Violette.

U.S. Marshals said Violette quoted the Bible and screamed uncontrollably when they arrested him.

Investigators are checking to see if he had previous signs of mental illness.

Court-appointed defense attorney Robert Denning declined to comment after Wednesday's hearing as to whether he would request a mental evaluation.

"I know what I'm going to do," Denning said without elaborating.

Johnston County District Attorney Susan Doyle said she wants to review the final autopsy report before deciding whether to seek the death penalty in the case.

After his court appearance, Violette was transferred from the Johnston County Jail to Central Prison in Raleigh. Johnston County Sheriff Steve Bizzell said he wanted Violette held at the state prison for his own safety.

Katlin Violette's funeral is scheduled for 10 a.m. Thursday at Colonial Baptist Church at 6051 Tryon Road.

In lieu of flowers, the family asked that contributions be made to the church for a new playground to be dedicated in Katlin's memory.

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  • beachdood4u Jan 29, 2007

    Let's see, John was muttering religious quotes when arrested, and his wife wants the church to prey for him. I'd be preying no one kills him so he will be able to "recieve" a lifetime of what he deserves in prison....

  • puppy Jan 19, 2007

    Im sorry for the whole family including neighbors and all.
    Prayers on the way.
    What is so bad about this whole thing someone will make a movie within a year and get rich off of this issue.
    That is what is the worse thing around. Then the family will have to go through this ordeal again.
    We all should work on stopping a movie show up or a book. This would help the family alot.
    Everyone please think about this and protest your hardship about this to the news and all. Instead of bashing each other on this board. Why not bash the media and all watch what I say within 1 year a movie or book will be out.
    Everyone says how mad upset they are but I bet each one of you will be watching this show. Why not stop the violence this way. Everyone say a prayer for all.

  • msncdso Jan 18, 2007

    Does anyone know if this man was on any new or recent medication? Sometimes meds may be perfectly safe for most people and terribly wrong for some others, especially meds for depression.

  • groberts14 Jan 18, 2007

    What? Johnston County Jail is not safe enough for this murder, so transport him to Central Prison. To our Judical System this man is not even safe in Central Prison because Bubba is waiting somewhere that a guard is not watching. So, eventually this man will be with God or the Devil. Who knows.

  • diwanicki Jan 18, 2007

    There was something wrong with this guy, but we wont know what til more details come out. I pray for every1 involved. CHILDREN DON'T ASK TO BE BROUGHT INTO THIS WORLD, ITS OUR JOB TO RAISE AND PROTECT THEM, NOT HURT OR KILL THEM!!!!!! He will get what he deserves. God will do what he thinks is best, but at the same token I wish for him to suffer the way she did.

  • livin2dance03 Jan 18, 2007

    Replying to Jackson...this is all going to be up for debate..but I'm still going to respond. In Ecclesiastes 8, Solomon goes into details about evil people in the world. He reminds us that in Genesis, Satan tempted Eve and she ate the apple. When she did that, her eyes were opened up to good and evil. Because of that sin, we all face sin. The sinners and Satan are the reason there's evil in the world. If everyone questions how a loving God can let these evil things happen, please ask yourself who allows all the good things to happen? This is what I believe and I back up...I'm not asking for arguments, I'm just offering what the bible says. I hope this gives you some insight.

  • ktj01 Jan 18, 2007

    I have 2 children of my own and could not even imagine hurting either one of them. I can't imagine what horror the mother saw when she got home from work. I am sure she will re-live that day for the rest of her life and my heart goes out to her and the family. As for the father, I don't think any mental health issue can even justify what he did to that innocent little girl.

  • nthdegree Jan 18, 2007

    I have spent several days reading everything written here with horror in my heart. There is talk of God punishing the "father" and readers here wanting to punish him. I have to wonder, if you all believe so much that God is so powerful and loving, and that he is constantly watching over everyone and protecting them from harm and heartache....where was he when this little baby was killed? Is he selective in who he protects or saves? Does anyone really think deep in their hearts that this baby is really better off....really in a better place, there can't be anything better for her than her mother's arms surely?

  • islandgirl Jan 18, 2007

    My prayers go out to the MOTHER/FAMILY/FRIENDS/RESPONDERS. Especially the mother, she needs all the prayers and help she can receive. I don't know this family but when I heard about what had happen, my heart fell to the ground, I was so angry and sick to my stomach. I could not believe what I was watching and hearing over the news.... And for the so called farther, he will get his punishment. I don't know if the death penalty would be the way to go, that will just put him out of his sick mysery, if you put him in the general population the imates will be the ones to take him slam out.....

    God be with you all.

  • narck9 Jan 18, 2007

    He needs to be put in a wood chipper. Feet first.