2010-02-18 / Front Page

Toddler Homicide Trial Scheduled For Pittman

Pittman pleads not guilty in court
By Chanin Rotz-Mountz STAFF WRITER

Shane Pittman Shane Pittman A Needmore area man waived arraignment proceedings earlier this month on charges of criminal homicide in connection with the death of his girlfriend’s 24-month-old daughter.

Shane Douglas Pittman of 3026 Gem Bridge Road appeared in the Fulton County Court of Common Pleas with court-appointed defense attorney Dwight Harvey on February 2 on one count each of criminal homicide and endangering the welfare of children. Pittman waived mandatory arraignment and followed up with a not-guilty plea to both counts linked to the death of Kylie York.

The toddler was left in Pittman’s care on December 2 at approximately 7:55 a.m. when the girl’s mother left for work. When the woman returned to her residence at 161 Blackfoot Drive, McConnellsburg, after lunchtime, she found her daughter lying on the couch, presumably taking a nap.

In a prior preliminary hearing, mother Shannon Wood testified Pittman, 31, told her Kylie had retrieved her blanket and pillow earlier that day and had voluntarily laid down to take a nap. Wood added the situation seemed odd to her as the toddler did not typically take a nap without being made to lie down and rest.

Wood also informed the court because her daughter had complained of a bellyache the prior evening, she promptly made an appointment with a local physician. When Wood went to wake her daughter a short time later for the appointment, she was unresponsive and was immediately rushed to the emergency room at Fulton County Medical Center before being transferred to Hershey Medical Center. She never woke again.

Dr. Robert Tamburro, an expert witness for the commonwealth in the area of pediatric critical-care medicine, revealed during the previous preliminary hearing Kylie was under his care at Hershey Medical Center from the point of her arrival at approximately 6:30 p.m. on December 2 until she was pronounced dead on December 5 at 1:05 a.m.

Various treatments were utilized to reduce brain swelling and a breathing tube was kept in until it was determined by physicians Kylie would never awake. Furthermore, a series of tests completed showed Kylie lacked brain activity and nerve function.

In addition, several dimesized bruises were located on the girl’s belly as well as the bruise on her forehead above the right eye. Bruising was not seen on Kylie’s back as the girl was kept on her back at all times due to any potential spinal injuries.

Dr. Tamburro stated it was his opinion Kylie’s brain injury was likely the result of a “traumatic” injury. The doctor came to the decision, he said, after ruling out the possibility of acute dehydration and blood clotting issues as direct causes. He was, however, unable to determine with a high degree of certainty during what time frame Kylie could have suffered the injury.

Even though Pittman did not take the stand in his defense during the preliminary hearing, lead investigator Trooper Blaine Henderson of the McConnellsburg state police barracks stated he interviewed Pittman regarding Kylie’s condition at Hershey Medical Center on December 3. A follow-up interview was performed at the barracks again on December 4 after Pittman had been taken into custody for a state parole violation.

While taking Pittman’s written statement, the trooper stated Pittman revealed after the girl . spit up on her clothes, he picked her up quickly and ran down the hallway for the bathroom as her head and neck allegedly snapped back and forth up to 10 times. Pittman dropped her into a dry bathtub from a distance of two feet, Henderson said. The girl was physically restrained in the tub, and following the bath she was reportedly “shaking rapidly.”

Pittman allegedly dressed the girl in clean clothing before placing her on the couch, where she was found by her mother.

On the heels of February 2 appearance and entry of a plea before Judge Carol L. Van Horn of the Court of Common Pleas, Pittman’s trial has tentatively been scheduled for the April 26 term of court.

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