Summary: Nancy Hatten lived next door to her daughter, Mrs. Rhonda Hatten Griffis, age 28, in Petal. After not getting an answer on the telephone, she went to the trailer next door just as Rhonda;'s husband, David Griffis drove up to the trailer with their two children. As Nancy Hatton entered, she saw Puckett raising a club coming towards her. As she backed away, David entered the house. The Griffis family knew Puckett because he was once employed by David Griffis. Nancy took the children and ran out. David asked Puckett about the blood on the club and Puckett indicated he had hit a deer and stopped to use the telephone. David dialed 9-1-1, then struggled with Puckett, eventually getting the club away from from Puckett, who took off running. As he retrieved a rifle, he then saw Rhonda laying on the floor and dialed 9-1-1 again. Puckett's truck was recovered the next night in a wooded area and he was arrested two days later.
QUOTE 1: "Nothing will ever fill that void," Nancy Hatten said of the death of her 28-year-old daughter. "It will always be in our lives, the void that Matt caused. There will be closure to this on the side of justice, but there will never be closure for us for our daughter as part of our lives."
QUOTE 2: "He knew he murdered her," Nancy Hatten said. "He also knew the serious penalty for murder. He still committed murder, therefore accepting the penalty."
QUOTE 3: She said Puckett's decision not only caused her family great grief, but his own. Puckett's family did not witness his execution at his request.
"Our daughter was murdered in such a horrendous way, and it is so difficult to comprehend that anyone would ever or could ever do that to her, but we do know she is no longer suffering, that she is at peace and one day we will be with her again," Nancy Hatten said.