David Prevatte has been arrested and charged in the murder and sexual assault of five year old Paitin Fields. According to police reports David Prevatte, who was named as a suspect back in 2018 and has been officially charged with first degree murder, first degree statutory rape, and statutory sex offense with child by adult. Little Paitin Fields was brought to the hospital in 2017 where doctors initially thought she died from a respiratory illness however upon examination found the child had suffered from sexual trauma and strangulation. David Prevatte was arrested in 2018 on charges of intimidating a witness when he called his mother and threatened the lead investigator in the Paitin Fields murder. David Prevatte would spend time in prison on unrelated charges and would be released in 2019. Now David Prevatte could be facing the death penalty if he is convicted in the murder of Paitin Fields
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The Pender County Sheriff’s Office has announced an arrest in the murder of Paitin Fields.
The 5 year-old child was sexually assaulted and strangled in November of 2017.
During a news conference on Friday afternoon, Pender County Sheriff Alan Cutler announced that the previously named suspect in the case, David Prevatte, has been arrested and charged with first degree murder, first degree statutory rape, and statutory sex offense with child by adult.
Prevatte is Paitin’s uncle.
Fields died November 16 of 2017. That was three days after her family took the unresponsive five-year-old to Pender Memorial Hospital. The initial reports said the family alerted the staff that Paitin had been fighting a respiratory issue for days, but the autopsy showed signs of sexual trauma and strangulation.
Prevatte was named a person of interest in the case in 2018, after he was charged with intimidating a witness and communicating threats.
He was released from prison on separate charges one year ago.
Prevatte was taken into custody by the Lafourche Parish Sheriff’s Office in Louisiana. He is awaiting extradition to Pender County.
Paitin Fields Photos
David Prevatte More News
The uncle of Paitin Fields has been charged in her murder.
During a news conference Friday, Pender County Sheriff Alan Cutler said that David Wesley Prevatte has been charged with first-degree murder, first-degree statutory rape and first-degree statutory sex offense with child by adult in the case.
Prevatte was taken into custody in by the Lafourche Parish Sheriff’s Office in Louisiana and is awaiting extradition.
“This has been an ongoing investigation and I am extremely proud of the effort that has been put into this investigation by my personnel,” Cutler said. “I also would like to express my thanks to Sheriff Craig Webre and his staff in Lafourche Parish for assisting our investigators with taking Prevatte into custody.”
“Today’s arrest is the culmination of years of hard work,” District Attorney Ben David said.
It was more than four years after Fields’ death before someone was charged with the child’s murder.
The 5-year-old was rushed to Pender Memorial Hospital on Nov. 13, 2017, and was unconscious as she entered the emergency department, according to an autopsy report. She was later transferred to New Hanover Regional Medical Center where an exam revealed evidence of a sexual assault.
She died three days later on Nov. 16, 2017. The autopsy report concluded that Fields was strangled and was the victim of sexual abuse.
Prevatte was publicly named as a suspect in her murder on June 22, 2018, when he was charged with threatening the life of the lead investigator in the case.
At the time, Prevatte was in the Pender County Jail on unrelated charges which he ultimately pleaded guilty to. He was released from prison in January 2020 after serving approximately ten months.
In a jailhouse interview, Prevatte denied killing Paitin. He acknowledged that he was the one who found Paitin unresponsive and apparently seizing the morning she was taken to the hospital, but said his innocence was demonstrated by his rendering aid to the child.