Tennessee's deadbeat dads: The three men who have fathered 78 children with 46 different women... and they're not paying child support to any of them
Three men in Tennessee have notched up a staggering 78 children by 46 different women between them - and are doing their best to squirm out of paying for a single one.
Terry Turnage has 23 children with 17 different women, while Richard M. Colbert has 25 children with 18 women. But Desmond Hatchett takes the record with 30 children with 11 women.
On rare occasions, they pay a few dollars to the long-suffering mothers but mostly leave the state to pick up the slack - while one eludes his responsibilities altogether thanks to a stint in prison.
The latest deadbeat dad to emerge from the state is Turnage, who was summoned before a judge over child support payments for his 23 kids by 17 different women - but didn't show up to court.
One of the mothers, who had spent nearly eight years with Turnage, said her knees buckled when a prosecutor told her that the father of her child had 20 other children.
'During the whole relationship, I only knew of four children,' Latoya Shields told WREG. 'At that time, three years ago, my child was the 21st child. Yeah, that would be overwhelming for anybody.'
Last month, Turnage filed a petition at Shelby County Juvenile Court to lower his child support payments for the mothers of his children - but never turned up to the hearing.
Shields said the virile dad has shown little interest in his daughter. 'She calls him and it's a "hi" and "bye, see you later" type of situation,' she said.
She added that he hardly ever pays child support, but when he has, the checks have been between $6 and $9 - as he is likely splitting his earnings between all 17 women.
The meager sums come despite the court ordering Turnage to pay Shields $259 a month for their child - but she said she does not expect to see that sort of money.
The most prolific dad is 33-year-old Desmond Hatchett, of Knoxville, who has 30 children by at least 11 different women. Last month, he asked for the courts to give him a break from paying for them.
It is little surprise the virile dad is unable to pay up: he has been in and out of prison for the past three years - during which time he has somehow reportedly fathered another nine children.
He was sentenced to six years in prison for aggravated assault, but most of the term was suspended for 'enhanced probation' - which he promptly violated by getting arrested for domestic violence.