DA drops case against man accused of soliciting murder

CHATTANOOGA, Tennessee(WDEF) – A Hamilton County prosecutor dropped the case against a Catoosa County man accused of Solicitation to Commit Murder on a teenager.

Prosecutor Amanda Morrison told Judge Barry Steelman the state was dropping its case against Joshua Patterson. Morrison said there was insufficient evidence to support claims Patterson tried to hire is ex-wife to kill the the 16-year old son of his ex-girlfriend.

"It was overwhelming clear to the state that these allegations were totally unfounded," said Patterson’s defense attorney Hank Hill.

According to an arrest affidavit, Buffy Patterson told investigators her ex-husband offered to pay her $400 to do harm to Teresa Padilla’s son. The affidavit states that he used racial slurs to describe how the boy would be killed.

According to the affidavit, Patterson was upset when he found out his daughter was dating Padilla’s son who is bi-racial.

Padilla showed WDEF a text message from Buffy Patterson warning Padilla about the threat. But Padilla said the prosecutor had doubts about where that message originated.

"She said I could have made that facebook account and made statements on it," Padilla.

Padilla says the text message was never presented in court; Nor was a  voice mail from Miss Patterson threatening to recant her story about her ex-husband.

WDEF obtained a copy of the voice mail sent to Padilla from Buffy Patterson.

This is the message:

"I’m back in my room mother f—-r. I’m leaving in 25-minutes to go get Josh out of jail. So f–k you. I’ll deny everything that’s been said."

"That’s her own voice. I can’t duplicate that. What about the police report? She signed an affidavit stating what happened so I’m just confused," said Padilla.

Padilla feels the recantation ultimately led to prosecutors dropping the case. But Patterson’s attorney says Patterson’s ex-wife was telling the truth when she changed her story.

"Well when you get under oath and you get cross examined and your about to commit perjury; often times you do change your story. And she told the truth," said Hill.

"I do not feel that the DA did everything that they possibly could to present a case. I think it fell in back files. I don’t know what happened," said Padilla.

WDEF wanted to learn more about why Morrison dropped the charges against Patterson but she declined to talk.

In the meantime, Padilla is in the process of launching a civil lawsuit against Patterson.

Categories: Crime, Local News

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