Local News

Accused killer granted free time at mental hospital

Posted August 1, 2008 3:12 p.m. EDT
Updated August 1, 2008 4:50 p.m. EDT

— 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.