The father who shot and killed his 11-year-old daughter on her first day of sixth grade asked God’s forgiveness as he laid her to rest.
“Forgive me for all of my sins and let me start all over again,” prayed Timothy Batts before 500 family members and friends who gathered Tuesday to mourn Timea Batts at Mt. Zion Baptist Church in Whites Creek, Tennessee.
“I wish it was a nightmare and I can awake now but it’s all too real,” Batts said, reading from a poem he wrote to his daughter. “Since the day you were born I never pictured life without you.
“I hear you saying, ‘I’m at a better place’ but I’d give anything for another chance to see your smiling face. I love you forever until we meet again,” The Tennessean reported.
“When I can’t breathe no more, heaven please let me in. Every tear I shed, wash it with my soul ‘cause I’ll see my baby, Timea, again where the streets are made of gold.”
Batts, 29, was charged with reckless homicide, tampering with evidence and false reporting in connection with his daughter’s August 8 death.
He originally told police that someone shot his daughter after she got off her school bus. But he later acknowledged to police that he had fired the round that killed Timea inside their house.
He said he had been asleep when he was awakened by noises, and opened fire, thinking there was an intruder.
He was released Friday after a judge halved his bail to $500,000.