A Walker County, Ga., detention officer was arrested Saturday on a charge of murdering his son.
Pat Wooten, 58, was being held at the Catoosa County Jail on one count of malice murder. According to a news release from the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, Wooten is charged with shooting his son, 30-year-old Patrick Lance Wooten, in the chest at their home on Hood Avenue in Chickamauga around noon Saturday.
Patrick Lance Wooten was declared dead at the scene. Walker County Coroner Dewayne Wilson said he was taking the body to the GBI Crime Lab in Decatur, Ga.
Investigators did not release much information Saturday. But Chickamauga police arrested Patrick Lance Wooten on April 25 on a charge of simple battery, family violence. He bonded out of jail Tuesday.
Walker County corrections officer charged with murder in shooting death of his sonRead more
A source close to the family, who requested anonymity because she did not have permission to speak publicly about the case, said Patrick Lance Wooten was arrested last month for assaulting an immediate family member. He and his father got into an argument about his arrest Saturday morning, leading to the fight and shooting, the source said.
Before the April case, Walker County court records show that Patrick Lance Wooten was charged with simple battery at least six times. He was arrested three times in 2014. All of those cases were dismissed. He had pending cases for arrests on Aug. 5, Jan. 25 and Feb. 23.
A woman who had been in a relationship with him requested restraining orders against Patrick Lance Wooten three times — most recently in August, court records show.
Pat Wooten has had a long career in law enforcement, Sheriff Steve Wilson said. Before that, he worked as a paramedic in the late 1970s and early 1980s. He worked for the police departments in Rossville and Chickamauga, Wilson said. Beginning in the 1990s, he also worked for Hutcheson Medical Center as the hospital's EMS director and security director.
Wilson was not sure Saturday how long Pat Wooten had worked in the jail, but he estimated it was about six years.
Lookout Mountain Judicial Circuit District Attorney Herbert "Buzz" Franklin did not return a call Saturday night asking if he was going to handle the prosecution or recuse his office because of Pat Wooten's role as a police officer.
Contact staff writer Tyler Jett at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @LetsJett.