Local News

Accused killer granted free time at mental hospital

Posted August 1, 2008

— A Clayton man accused of killing his 4-year-old daughter last year was given permission Friday to spend 30 minutes each day unsupervised on the campus of Dorothea Dix Hospital.

A judge ruled in January that John Patrick Violette was legally insane and couldn't be tried for the Jan. 12, 2007, slaying of Katlin Violette at the family's home.

Violette was ordered confined at Dorothea Dix for treatment, and a psychiatrist treating him recommended unsupervised periods as therapeutic.

The psychiatrist said Violette has been stable, is taking his medications and participating in treatment classes, and has been working as a janitor in the Raleigh mental hospital.

Superior Court Judge James Ammons rejected the request for four hours of daily unsupervised time and granted 30 minutes a day. Violette won't be allowed to leave the Dorothea Dix campus during those free periods.

On the day his daughter was killed, Violette said he heard voices telling him she was an evil spirit. He stabbed her with a kitchen knife, beheaded her and stuffed her body in a trash can to keep the spirit from escaping, according to court testimony.

Violette was quoting the Bible and screaming uncontrollably when he was arrested the at a Washington, D.C., hotel the day after the killing, authorities said. He had headed to Washington to catch a flight to Montana before an apocalypse consumed the East Coast, according to court testimony.


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  • Jakethesnake Aug 1, 2008

    This is ridicoulous, insane or not, life behind 4 walls with no special treatment is what he deserves. talk to your demons in there where you belong.
    Just remember if you cut a little girls head off, just act crazy and you'll get special treatment in a mental hospital.
    How could anybody involved feel any sympathy or even want him to have therapy and be rehabilatated, he is a good for nothing human being that needs to be punished harshly for the rest of his life.

  • Centurian Aug 1, 2008

    Superior Court Judge James Ammons granted him 30 minutes of unsupervised time daily OUTSIDE the hospital walls, but Violette must voluntarily stay on the Dix campus during those free periods. WOW! He killed his 4-yr old daughter, chopped off her head, and fled the state only 17 months ago and was ordered into the mental hospital only last January! ALREADY, THE FIRST STEPS ARE IN PLACE TO OBTAIN HIS COMPLETE OUTRIGHT RELEASE BACK INTO SOCIETY.

    Judges Ammons should be ashamed! Violette is as sane now as he was that day before he killed his daughter and tried to get away. This is exactly why so many people have no confidence in our judicial system!

  • kbo0801 Aug 1, 2008

    Why is this guy one working unsupervised and two granted free time. This man is not insane because if he was he would not have caught a flight to DC. These parents kill their kids and plea insanity. When the only thing that is insane is the fact that they get off easy. He should not be working unsupervised or supervised. What happens if his medicine stops working and he kills again?

  • cragan Aug 1, 2008

    well if he is is as insane as they say he is will be actually care they are about to kill if they send him to death row

  • redneck050 Aug 1, 2008

    when not if but when this "insane" guy kills again the judge and phsyc doctor should be charged with first degree murder also. when these people realize they cant make em model citizens and are legaly responsible for the asinine decisions they make i bet a lot of em start sendin people to prison instead of "hospitals" no wonder this country's government sucks so bad

  • catwoman1 Aug 1, 2008

    This shocks me. I see him in the lock-down yard from time to time. He appears very sedate and holds his head down. The problem is that when the patients go on their walks, they are NOT supervised. They wear badges and unless you get up close, you can't tell who works at DDH and who is the patient. I really don't think this is a good idea. We see patients escape from time to time, but usually they are caught quickly.

  • howdiditgettothis Aug 1, 2008

    If he is so "insane" that he was not sent to prison for brutally killing HIS child, then why he is any more sane to clean toilets or walk UNSUPERVISED anywhere????

    If anything, he should be MORE supervised, since he's unable to be responsible for his actions.

    Makes no sense.

    Throw the judge out, and change the laws.

    Once again, the law at work for the criminal!

  • CrewMax Aug 1, 2008

    This has got to bethe stupidest thing I have heard today. The guy
    is psychotic and on meds to keep him from entering a state of mind
    where he could decapitate his child, and a health care professional says he is stable and should be allowed unsupervised time. I hope the "profesional" plans to let this
    sick man spend time with his/her children. But, I doubt it.
    Is anybody in charge anymore?

  • KEB59 Aug 1, 2008

    This guy changed the course of many lives by terminating the life of his own child. He not only took this innocent life, he decapitated her!

    It's truly fantastic and unbelievable that anyone would do this, and then be granted anything more than life in prison or the death penalty. This so called quick recovery is a farse.

    Lock him down and lock him up.

    If he gets out for 30 minutes each day, walk him along the east fence.

    The judge that granted this moron free time should be removed from the bench. His legal representation deserves the same.

  • Brogden Aug 1, 2008

    Roaming free somewhere near you - soon!
    "He is now taking his medications" - he was before but stopped and then killed his child - stuffed her head in the trash can!

    "Remarkable progress" - if it is so "remarkable" that he has recovered so quickly is it possible he faked his "relapse" for the benefit of the court?

    I don't think this dirt bag should ever see the outside of a cell! That's the voice he should be hearing inside his head!