Plea will stand for man who killed 6-year-old boy with Down Syndrome
COLUMBIA - A guilty plea by the man who admitted killing 6-year-old Dayne Hathman will stand, a judge ruled Friday. Hathman, who had Down Syndrome, was shot multiple times with a Hi-Point .40 caliber
In 2014, Scottie Willet, 30, admitted to shooting Hathman at the boy's Callaway County home, where Willet was living at the time. Willet was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.
An attorney hired after Willet was sentenced said Willet was coerced to take the plea and, because of a mental disability, did not know the true implications of his decision.
In a court filing seeking post-conviction relief, the attorney said the counsel who negotiated the plea deal did not fully investigate Willet's mental ability to understand the plea.
Judge Jeff Harris Friday ruled there had been an adequate mental evaluation prior to the plea. Harris also found no one had coerced Willet into making the deal.