Patterson's attorney, Rachel Baird, is challenging the protective order during the hearing, which is scheduled to resume on Thursday. Patterson is expected to testify.
He is charged with 29 counts of risk of injury to a minor after officers allegedly found the firearms, most of them in a bedroom that Patterson and his wife share with their 7-year-old son, according to court testimony.
On Wednesday, Chevannes testified that the domestic dispute between herself and Patterson started inside their home on Canaan Street when she resisted demands that she pay him rent. She said that she sold the house to her daughter before the daughter married Patterson. Chevannes continued living in the house and pays the mortgage while her daughter pays for utilities.
Chevannes said that she was hurt when Patterson threatened to throw her belongings in the garbage and that she tried to talk to him about it. Patterson became enraged when she said she would consult with a lawyer and he threatened to strike her.
She told Hartford police officers who responded that she feared for her safety because of his short temper and his access to firearms, said Officer Kevin O'Brien. Court officials noted that Patterson never threatened to use the firearms during the argument.
Baird noted that Chevannes participated in the argument by mentioning a male friend of Patterson's wife, saying "Rick" is a better man than Patterson.
Baird asked Hartford police officers who testified about their response to the incident why Chevannes wasn't charged for her part in the argument. If having unloaded weapons in the home with children is a crime, she asked, why wasn't she also charged for being an adult in the home?
"They're not her firearms. She has no control over the firearms," said Officer Jonathan Rowe.
Under questioning by Baird, Rowe said he is "vaguely" aware of firearms storage laws.
Baird has said the Patterson didn't violate any laws because firearms are prohibited from the vicinity of children only when they are loaded, and none of the guns found in Patterson's home was loaded.
Patterson left for work at a part-time job before officers arrived, but returned when they reached him on his cell phone. He took the officers into a bedroom where 26 firearms were found unsecured, police said. A large amount of ammunition also was found in the room.
Three other firearms were found in a gun safe in the basement, police said. Detectives are still trying to account for other firearms registered to Patterson at addresses in Hartford, Bloomfield and South Carolina, police said.
Patterson has been cooperating with the investigation, police said.
Patterson has been placed on administrative leave from the fire department pending an investigation, department Capt. James McLoughlin said.
Patterson has been a member of the Hartford Fire Department since 1997, McLoughlin said.
Written by Hartford Courant (CT)