Chattanooga: Man pleads guilty to killing 5-year-old son

Chattanooga: Man pleads guilty to killing 5-year-old son

September 17th, 2012 by Todd South in Local - Breaking News

Dedric Lamont Atkins

A 35-year-old Chattanooga man pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in the 2003 beating and strangulation death of his 5-year-old son.

Dedric Lamont Atkins has been housed in a state mental health facility since shortly after killing his son Dedrick Kayshon Johnson on Sept. 28, 2003. He was declared competent to stand trial last year.

Atkins received a 15-year prison sentence under the plea agreement.

His attorney, Hilary Hodgkins, said that during the hearing this morning before Hamilton County Criminal Court Judge Don Poole, her client said he was "telepathic and hears voices."

Atkins suffers from schizophrenia.

Autopsy reports showed that Johnson was beaten and strangled in Atkins' Patten Towers apartment.

For more details, see tomorrow's Times Free Press.