First signs of trouble
Patrick had been a delightful child. Joyce had no problems with him at all, he was the smartest kid in the class, and he was a joy to his teachers until he turned 11 years old.
That’s when Patrick started to change.
In the first incident Joyce can remember, Patrick wanted a Sony Walkman radio. His mother couldn’t afford it. She told him no.
A few days later, Patrick came home with a Walkman, telling his mother he had gotten it from another kid.
Then Joyce found out the truth: Patrick had stolen a check and a $20 bill from her purse, and gave them to the kid for the Walkman.
Patrick denied it. Even when the other boy gave Joyce the check and the money, Patrick denied, denied, denied. So Joyce did something she rarely did she spanked her son.
That night, Patrick ran away. He left the family home in Arkansas, determined to walk to his grandfather’s house in Florida.
Joyce called the police, and they soon found the boy. When he got home, Joyce spanked him again for running away.
Patrick glared at his mother. “You can’t watch me 24 hours a day,” he threatened. “I will do it again.”
Joyce felt a pang of trepidation. She knew he was right.
Joyce did all she could to help Patrick, but by the age of 15 he was uncontrollable. He started roaming the streets at night. He ran a steal-to-order business. He brought a stolen gun to high school.
When Patrick was 17, the family which included Joyce’s 18-year-old son, and her new husband was living in Florida. Patrick talked his older brother into renting a two-bedroom apartment for them. Patrick quickly filled it up with stolen property such as $100,000 worth of computers taken from his stepfather’s business partner.
Both boys were arrested, although Patrick was booked as a juvenile. Joyce and her husband went to the police station to get him. When the police sergeant brought Patrick out from detention, the first words out of his mouth towards Joyce were, “What the fuck took you so long?”
Joyce turned to the sergeant and said, “Officer, there’s been a mistake. This kid looks like my son, but my son wouldn’t talk to me like that.” She and her husband turned around and walked out.
After a court hearing, Patrick was placed in Joyce’s custody, with an electronic monitoring device. Within a few days, the device, and Patrick, were gone. He was caught, he was released, and then a few months later, he was arrested again.
This time the charge was aggravated robbery. Patrick and accomplices had held people at gunpoint, tied them up and robbed them. Patrick was sentenced to five years. He served two years and was released.
Five months later, determined to stay out of prison, he killed Jessica Witt.
Patrick in prison
Patrick Alexander was found guilty of murder with a deadly weapon and sentenced to life in prison.
He was not a model prisoner. In his first 12 years, he was disciplined 17 times usually by being sent into solitary confinement.
He mouthed off to the guards. In a long-running scam, he acquired all kinds of contraband computer equipment, DVD movies and pornography, a knife. He even smuggled in cell phones, and took photos of himself in his cell, which he transmitted to one of his buddies, Kenneth George Hamilton Jr., who had already been released from prison.
Eventually, Patrick’s stash of illicit materials was discovered and he was punished. What was his attitude? Certainly not repentant. Here’s what Patrick wrote to Hamilton in February 2003:
Well, how did I get away with all that shit for years? It was easy, they just don’t hire the brightest motherfuckers to work there, and I’m the best computer man on the unit, so I’d already spend (sic) lots of time fixing the stuff that was already on the unit, until I got in a good spot to get some of my own, then it just snowballed and the stuff started piling up. I’d already sent a bunch of stuff back home, but the stuff I still had was pretty nice and I sure hated to lose it, but it was bound to happen sooner or later. I’m not to (sic) mad, I knew that eventually the wrong person would stumble on it and the roof would fall in, but I really didn’t think they would be quite as mad at me as they were. When the warden told me I was going to tell him how I got all that stuff on his unit, I told him to go fuck himself, literally. He was hotter than fish grease then! 😉 Then, they found all the DVD movies and DVD porn, THAT is when he got really mad, and I just let my smart ass attitude loose on him. I mean, what the fuck, my ship was sunk anyhow, why not have some fun with it. If they’d found out and fired all the cops who were involved with me, they’d have had to shut down Beto and restaff because they wouldn’t have enough cops to run the place. It was fucking great!