ONLY ON WWAY: Family defends suspect in Paitin Fields’ murder, sexual assault

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PENDER COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — More than two years after a 5-year-old was killed, no one has been arrested in connection to the case.

Now, we are hearing from some of Paitin Fields’ family for the very first time in an interview that is only on WWAY.

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Up until now, Paitin’s mother’s side of the family has not spoken on camera.

WWAY’s Hannah Patrick sat down with them to hear their side of the story.

“We have heard enough of everybody else’s opinion that never knew her. It is time for somebody else who was there to speak for her. You know, and not just for David, but for Paitin. This is for Paitin,” Prevatte’s sister, Amber Leggett, said.



In November, Detective John Leatherwood said some of the family refused to accept the autopsy results. Amber Leggett wants to set the record straight.

“We needed our time to grieve,” Leggett said. “We’ve never gotten that, because it’s always been news after news after news or this after this. We need our time. That is why I’m stepping forward now.”

Legget is Fields’ aunt. She is also David Prevatte’s sister who is the only person of interest in the case.

“The accusations of it being my brother, I don’t believe not one bit as much as he loved that child,” Leggett said.

Leggett said she was in Lumberton on November 13, 2017 when Fields was taken to the hospital. Leggett said Fields’ grandfather Dale Hunt and Prevatte drove Fields to the hospital.

“911 was called twice, but we did not get a connection,” Leggett said. “That’s why they took off in the car to go drive.”

After Fields got to the hospital, a 911 call did go through from hospital staff.

911 call: “I have a 5-year-old that was brought in. Strongly appears to be strangulation marks on her neck.”

Three days later fields died. The autopsy shows she was sexually assaulted and strangled.

“I mean that’s what it says, but honestly I don’t know. I’m not a medical examiner,” Leggett said.

Leggett said she knows her family did not do it.

“I feel like it to be a freak accident. We were told at one point that she was having seizures, and now, it’s ‘Oh no she died from strangulation. There weren’t no seizures involved,'” Leggett said.

Hannah: “In the report, it does say that she was sexually assaulted?”

“I don’t believe that,” Leggett said. “She was born with birth marks. They are known as Mongolian spots. They come out looking like bruises.”

In June 2018, The Pender County Sheriff’s Office named Prevatte as a suspect and charged him with communicating threats to the lead detective on Fields’ case

Hannah: “He was charged with intimidating an officer. Do you think that makes him look guilty at all?”
“No. Not after what was said and why it was said. People have their moments where you can push them to their pushin’ point,” Leggett said.

As Prevatte is now being released from prison on those charges, Leggett said she is still pushing for justice.

“I want it to be the right justice not the wrong justice,” Leggett said. “It’s going to be really good to have him home.”

She also wants some peace.

“There’s been threats put out on the household with my daughter in it. I want the slandering to stop,” Leggett said. “I want the threats to stop. Let the law do what they got to do.”

Leggett says it is time to move on.

“It’s time for her to rest in peace,” Leggett said.

She hopes Fields’ memory forever lives on.

“Like the happy little girl she was,” Leggett said. “That big smile. Them beautiful eyes.”

The detective on the case said there are no new updates. If you have any information that could help, please contact the Pender County Sheriff’s Office.