Courts & Crime

In Charlotte family murder, surviving child says 'Daddy did it'

DALLAS — When Wayne Hedgepath opened the door to his daughter Tracy's home Friday night, he found her and two of his grandchildren dead, and a third clinging to life with a gunshot wound to the head.

"Daddy did it," the surviving girl, 7-year-old Destiny Minter, can be heard telling her grandfather on a recording of his call to 911.

Court records show her father, Austen Minter, had a history of mental illness and numerous violent episodes with his family over the past few years - including death threats and at least three shooting incidents. Despite more than a dozen arrests and at least one restraining order, the most time Minter appears to have served in jail was about four months.

Late Monday, Minter's family issued a statement to WCNC-TV, the Observer's news partner, apologizing for Austen Minter's actions.

"We cannot attempt to explain or understand how or why Austen became so disconnected with reality that he was able to harm those he loved most," the statement read.

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