INDIANAPOLIS — An Indianapolis man was found guilty of murder more than two years after he sought out officers and confessed to stabbing his boyfriend to death, the Marion County Prosecutor’s Office announced Thursday.
Dewayne Edward Patterson, age 64, was convicted in the 2020 murder of John Patton.
Trying to confess
Court documents show that at about 10:50 p.m. on Aug. 9, 2020, Patterson approached an Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department officer outside the City-County Building downtown and told him that he “got pissed off and stabbed his roommate.” The officer called over a detective, and Patterson told them he stabbed a person named John in the area of 38th Street and Meridian. When the officers asked further questions, Patterson began to cry. The detective then advised Patterson to make a report with district officers who were in the area, per court documents.
A short time later, Patterson approached a deputy outside the City-County Building and told him he killed someone four days ago. However, authorities let Patterson go after they were unable to find a recent homicide that matched Patterson’s story and found that Patterson did not have an active warrant for his arrest, court documents state.
At about 11:30 p.m., Patterson walked to the Marion County Jail on South Alabama Street, rang the buzzer, said he just killed someone and asked to be let in. A lieutenant spoke with Patterson outside and called for a detective. The detective who spoke with Patterson outside the City-County Building asked if Patterson had provided any further information. Patterson then told the lieutenant more details, including an address, Patton’s full name and that Patton used to beat him up so he retaliated by stabbing him, per court records. Patterson added that he told someone about this previously but “the EMS people laughed at me.”
Finding the body
Police responded to the address Patterson provided — in the 3700 block of North Meridian Street — to check on Patton. After no one responded to a knock at the door, the detective entered the home with a key Patterson provided.
“The distinct odor of human decomposition was apparent as soon as the door was opened,” reads an affidavit.
Once inside, the detective noticed the hallway leading to the bedroom and bathroom was “completely covered in bloody fingerprints and blood smears,” court documents say. The detective then saw a person — later identified as Patton — lying on the bedroom floor with a cover over him. The crime lab was called to the scene.
The prosecutor’s office said Patton had more than 50 sharp-force injuries to his head, neck and chest and was killed sometime between Aug. 4 and Aug. 8.
Patterson tells his story
After he found the body, the detective conducted a recorded interview with Patterson, as detailed by court documents. During his statement, Patterson said he and Patton had been in an intimate relationship. He said he tried to take care of Patton, who had lived with him for about two years, and everything was fine at first.
When the detective asked where Patton was, Patterson responded “he’s dead” and became very upset, court documents say,
“I killed him, I cut him.”
Patterson said he repeatedly stabbed Patton with a folding knife because he was upset that Patton was sleeping around and “turning tricks.” He felt angry and betrayed by Patton’s cheating, and so he killed Patton in the bedroom about four days ago, Patterson told the detective.
“I was so mad.”
Patterson recalled that Patton didn’t die right away and laid on the floor as the two exchanged harsh words.
After Patton died, Patterson explained that he stayed at the apartment with the body for several days because he was scared, per court documents. He said he called 911 the night before he visited the City-County Building but was too scared to answer the door. Patterson said he eventually came downtown to confess because he wanted to get it over with.