An inmate serving time for a gruesome hammer attack was discovered missing from Pulaski County Regional Detention Facility this morning and a pair of investigations are underway to find out what happened.
Henri Hatten, 56, of Little Rock, was discovered missing during a headcount at the jail this morning. Hatten was serving time at the jail while waiting for space in the Arkansas Department of Corrections, according to a tweet from the Pulaski County Sheriff’s office.
Hatten is listed in court records as Henri Dubois Hatten but has used several aliases, including Frederick Randolph, Henri Hatton, William Hatten and Howard Hatten.
In February, Hatten pleaded guilty to domestic battery in the first degree, a class B felony, in which he faced five to 40 years and a fine of up to $15,000.
On March 30, Circuit Judge Karen Whatley denied Hatten’s attempt to withdraw his guilty plea and sentenced him to 35 years in the Arkansas Department of Correction.
Earlier this month, John Lynch of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette recounted the events that led to Hatten’s conviction. Prosecutors said Hatten attacked his 51-year-old romantic partner, Sherice Johnson, with a hammer so severely that her brain was exposed. Johnson survived the attack and testified at Hatten’s sentencing.
Here’s how the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette described it:
That morning, Johnson said Hatten came into the bathroom looking for his wallet. He left when she told him she didn’t know where it was but he quickly returned to ask her for money, Johnson said. When she told him she didn’t have any cash, he swung at her with a hammer they kept in the kitchen.
The first blow to the head knocked her into the bathtub, she said, describing for the judge how he kept after her with the tool, hitting her in the face and head before she could flee the apartment. Hatten left in her car before police arrived, leaving the broken hammer behind, with officers finding Johnson bleeding in the street with brain matter exposed.
Deputy prosecutor Justin Harper showed the judge photographs of the bloody bathroom and hammer, with the judge saying the pictures were more gruesome than some murder crime-scene photographs she’d seen.
Court records list Hatten’s address as 4700 W. 24th Street in Little Rock. The Democrat-Gazette reported the incident took place at a home on Howard Street.
Anyone with information on Hatten can call the Sheriff’s office at 501-340-6963 or leave an anonymous tip at 501-340-8477 (TIPS).
It appears Hatten escaped from the exercise yard attached to his unit and passed through an exterior fence, the Pulaski County Sheriff’s Office said in a statement this afternoon. The Sheriff’s Office, which is searching for Hatten, said he is “considered to be dangerous” and advised anyone who comes into contact with him to call 911 rather than approach him.
Here’s the full update from the Sheriff’s Office:
On April 19, 2023 during an early morning headcount it was determined that inmate Henri Hatten was missing. The PCSO Patrol Division was contacted and responded to the facility. Deputies used a K-9 to track around the facility. PCSO Detectives are also involved in the case and are actively searching for the inmate. The Warrants/Judicial Division Deputies are also involved in the search.
It appears that the inmate was able to escape from the exercise yard attached to his unit and made it to the exterior fence where he was able to get through it. Mr. Hatten may have been injured by the fence surrounding the facility upon escaping.
Mr. Hatten had recently pled guilty to a domestic battery charge and an unrelated drug charge. Mr Hatten received a 35-year commitment to the Arkansas Department of Corrections.
Mr. Hatten is considered to be dangerous. If anyone has any information in regards to Mr. Hatten’s location, please contact 501-340- 6963. If anyone comes in contact with Mr Hatten, contact 9-1-1 and do not approach. Mr Hatten has lived in the Little Rock area in the past.