Chattanooga man accused of strangling son found competent to stand trial

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (AP) -- A Chattanooga man charged with killing his son 12 years ago has been found competent to stand trial.

Dedric Lamont Atkins is charged with first-degree murder in the September 2003 beating and strangulation death of his 5-year-old son, Dedric Johnson.

According to the Chattanooga Times Free Press, psychiatrists at the Middle Tennessee Mental Health Institute determined the 35-year-old Atkins no longer needed to be kept there and sent him back to Hamilton County.

Atkins' attorney, Hilary Hodgkins, has filed a motion seeking an insanity defense, based on her client's mental state at the time the boy was killed.

In a 2003 statement to police, Atkins said he heard voices on television that told him to kill his son.


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