PENDER COUNTY, NC (WECT) - David Wesley Prevatte, the uncle of 5-year-old Paitin Fields and the only named suspect in the toddler’s homicide, is headed to prison after he pleaded guilty to several unrelated charges.
Prevatte, 20, of Willard, entered guilty pleas on Monday to intimidating a witness, breaking and entering, larceny after breaking and entering, and burning a building under construction.
He was sentenced to 13-25 months followed by a consecutive sentence of 5-15 months in prison. He was also given a suspended sentence of 5-15 months. After his release from prison, he will be required to serve two years of supervised probation.
Prosecutors said Prevatte broke into a neighbor’s home on March 25, 2018, and stole a laptop that was later pawned at a local pawn shop. On April 8, 2018, Prevatte got into an argument with his ex-girlfriend and burned a camper trailer that was being refurbished as a residence.
Deputies arrested Prevatte for the crimes on April 4, 2018 — five months after Paitin’s death.
He was publicly named as a suspect in her murder on June 22, 2018, when the Pender County Sheriff’s Office charged him with threatening the life of the lead investigator on the case.
Arrest warrants state that Prevatte made a phone call from the county jail to his mother, Lisa Hunt, on April 28, 2018, and said “when I get out, (the investigator’s) got it coming to him and I will probably go back to jail” and “(the investigator) is coming to an end.”
During a jailhouse interview, Prevatte adamantly denied any involvement in Paitin’s death and claimed that “he was mad at the time” when he made the threats. He also added that the threats were not serious.
While Prevatte has been named as a suspect, he has not been officially charged with Fields’ death.
According to a final autopsy report, Fields was taken to Pender Memorial Hospital on November 13, 2017, showing no vital signs as she entered the emergency department. She was later transferred to New Hanover Regional Medical Center where an exam at the hospital revealed evidence of sexual assault, the autopsy report stated
Fields eventually died on Nov. 16, 2017. The autopsy report concluded that she was strangled to death and was the victim of sexual abuse.
Last week, the Pender County Sheriff’s Office and the District Attorney’s Office, in an effort to eschew concerns from the public, released a joint statement that said the Fields homicide investigation remains “very active.”