Man indicted on murder charge in Benbrook shooting

12/16/2013 3:35 PM

12/16/2013 3:37 PM

An energy company CEO who told Benbrook police that he fatally shot his girlfriend’s ex-husband in self-defense has been indicted on a murder charge, according to court records.

Johnny Patton Jr. called Benbrook police Oct. 1 for help in a disturbance outside his girlfriend’s Benbrook home. During the call a dispatcher heard Patton say “he is going to shoot me,” according to a search warrant affidavit obtained Monday by the Star-Telegram.

Officers found Patton was unharmed, but Richard Slatkin, the ex-husband of Patton’s fiancee, lay dead on the ground with a bullet wound in the chest.

“I had to pull the trigger,” an officer heard Patton remark, the affidavit states.

Benbrook Police Chief James Mills said Monday, however, that the police investigation quickly painted a different picture of what occurred that day.

“In the phone call, the dispatcher asked Patton where Slatkin was at,” Mills said.

Patton’s response, according to Mills, was “I don’t know. I’m trying to find him,” prompting the dispatcher to tell Patton, “Don’t go looking for him.”

“It’s not self-defense if you’re looking for the guy you think is there to hurt you,” Mills said Monday.

Patton was released from the Tarrant County Jail on Oct. 9 after his defense attorneys successfully asked a judge to lower his bail from $750,000 to $25,000.

He was indicted Wednesday, according to court records.

“I’m not guilty. It was self-defense. Period,” Patton said when reached by telephone Monday.

‘Men had ongoing issues’

The shooting occurred shortly before 3 p.m Oct. 1 outside the Benbrook home of Catherine Slatkin, Richard Slatkin’s ex-wife.

Richard Slatkin went to his ex-wife’s former residence at Crosslands Road and Lombardy Terrace to pick up some property that she had given him, the affidavit states.

“We’ve been told by people involved that Slatkin wanted to come move that stuff without a confrontation and he was trying to schedule a time to do that when Patton wouldn’t be there,” Mills said.

Mills said Slatkin and two witnesses were loading the property — a washer and dryer — into a truck when Patton drove up.

“These two men had ongoing issues,” Mills said. “When Patton pulled up, Slatkin was approaching his car when he was shot.”

2 guns found at scene

Police found two guns belonging to Patton at the scene: a revolver he tossed onto the lawn after the shooting and a pistol that had been in his shorts’ pocket, the affidavit states.

Slatkin was not armed, Mills said.

Patton is CEO of Patton Energy Partners, according to his LinkedIn profile.

Slatkin was a private investigator who worked for Investigation Resource Service.

Catherine Slatkin’s divorce from Richard Slatkin was finalized in May, court records say.

The couple had one child together, but genetic testing determined that a second child’s father is Jason L. Patton, 33, the son of Johnny Patton Jr., court records say.

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