Local News

Accused killer seeks more privileges at mental hospital

Posted March 8, 2013 11:32 a.m. EST
Updated March 8, 2013 3:37 p.m. EST

— A Clayton man accused of beheading his 4-year-old daughter in 2007 asked a judge on Friday for more privileges at a state psychiatric hospital where he is being held.

John Patrick Violette, who was declared legally insane and couldn't be tried for the January 2007 slaying of Katlin Violette, requested more off-campus time and more unsupervised time at Central Regional Hospital in Butner.

A judge ruled that Violette can spend five hours off campus with a group of three patients and one staff member – an increase from the three hours he was previously allowed – due to the longer drive from Butner than from Dorothea Dix Hospital in Raleigh, where Violette was previously held.

The judge denied his request to go off campus with larger groups of 10 patients and one staff member.

The judge also denied Violette's request to increase his unsupervised time at the hospital from 30 minutes per day to two hours per day. Defense attorneys said he wanted the extra unsupervised time to exercise.

The district attorney's office told the judge Friday that Violette's treatment team says he is still dangerous and continues to suffer from schizophrenia.

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 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.