DeRidder man to stand trial for stabbing death of nephew - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

DeRidder man to stand trial for stabbing death of nephew

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John W. Hatfield III. (Source: Beauregard Parish Sheriff's Office) John W. Hatfield III. (Source: Beauregard Parish Sheriff's Office)
BEAUREGARD PARISH, LA (KPLC) -

A 26-year-old DeRidder man has been found competent to stand trial for the stabbing death of his 4-year-old nephew.

John Hatfield III pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity in connection with the December 2012 death of his nephew Tanner Bailey.

Hatfield III was indicted on a charge of second-degree murder in February 2013.

The trial is set to begin Feb. 23, 2015 in Beauregard Parish.

Kourtenay Hatfield, Tanner's mother, said it's the first step in moving forward.

"It's been a hard couple if weeks because Tanner would have started kindergarten this year," Hatfield said. "It's just nice to have a trial date. Once that is past us I think we can finally start to move forward with the healing process."

With her son dead and brother accused of the crime, moving forward for Kourtenay has been easy.

"You never expect that your brother would be a danger to your children. He does have schizophrenia. I don't dispute that he has a mental illness, but there was never a sign that he would hurt either one of my kids," said Kourtenay.

While her family is torn over what fate her brother should face if found guilty, Kourtenay wants a life sentence. She said she would be at the courthouse every step of the way to see justice for Tanner.

"No matter what. I've been here for everything. I've sat here all day. That's my job. I'm Tanner's mom," said Kourtenay.

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