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Murder victim’s friend: ‘I never knew him as an instigator’

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Friends and family of a man murdered last week in Norfolk spoke to NewsChannel 3 Tuesday night.

They say 35-year-old Casey Hardesty, who was shot and killed Friday morning, is not the instigator court documents and the suspected killer's family are making him out to be.

Casey, a father of two and active freemason, had just gotten engaged and was working as an automotive painter in Norfolk, according to his father.

Chris Schakel, a friend and co-worker, says they became close fast.

"Knowing his demeanor and the way he presented himself, it's just really hard to believe that he died like he did,” Schakel says.  “It was like I hadn't known him long but it was like we had been friends for a long time.”

Casey's suspected murderer is 25-year-old Joseph Chatfield, a Norfolk sailor, whose family believes the shooting, was in self-defense.

A search warrant reveals Chatfield told investigators that Casey held a railroad spike up to his throat before the shooting happened.

"I never knew him as an instigator,” Schakel says. “I knew him as a good friend that would cover your back."

As Casey’s family and friends prepare for his funeral tomorrow, they hope what really happened early Friday morning will soon come to light.

"I just would love to find out the truth of what all happened, what transpired that night,” Schakel says.

According to Norfolk General District Court's online case system, in 2011, Chatfield was found guilty of carrying a concealed weapon while intoxicated. He is scheduled to have a hearing on Friday morning and is currently in jail without bond.

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