Pittman Pleads Guilty In Toddler’s Death
A case that has been 1-1/2 years in the making came to an end last week when Shane Douglas Pittman stood before Fulton County Court of Common Pleas Judge Angela Krom to enter a guilty plea in the death of his girlfriend’s 24-month-old daughter.
Having been scheduled for a three-day jury trial later this month on one count each of criminal homicide and endangering the welfare of children, Pittman has been held without bail in the Franklin County Prison since the December 2009 death of Kylie York. With only a few on hand to hear his guilty plea to third-degree murder, Pittman, 32, said to Judge Krom the statements he previously made to investigating Pennsylvania State Police officers were accurate.
While giving a written statement to Investigator Trooper Blaine Henderson, formerly of the McConnellsburg state police barracks, Pittman said the girl spit up on her clothes, and he responded by picking her up quickly. Henderson said that while running down the hallway for the bathroom Pittman said the toddler’s head and neck snapped back and forth up to 10 times. Pittman dropped her into a dry bathtub from a distance of two feet, Henderson said, and following the bath she was reportedly “shaking rapidly.”
Among those in attendance on Thursday, May 12, was Shannon Wood, who allowed Pittman to serve as caretaker for her daughter while she completed a dayshift at Giant Food store in McConnellsburg. Pittman also worked at Giant, but typically the 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. shift. He did not work the evening and morning hours just prior to the alleged homicide.
Wood previously testified during a preliminary hearing she last saw her daughter alive at 7:55 a.m. on December 2, 2009. At the time, Kylie was watching “Elmo” on television while sitting at the foot of the bed in the master bedroom of Wood’s home at 161 Blackfoot Drive, McConnellsburg. Lying near Kylie in the bed was Pittman of 3026 Gem Bridge Road, Needmore.
Wood testified when she returned home from work hours later she found her daughter presumably taking a nap on the couch. Wood stated Pittman informed her that Kylie had retrieved her blanket and pillow earlier and had voluntarily taken 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.
Dr. Robert Tamburro, an expert witness for the commonwealth in the area of pediatric critical-care medicine, testified during the previous 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 used 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 revealed Kylie lacked brain activity as well as nerve function.
The doctor stated there was no evidence of a skull fracture during imaging and testing. A healing fracture was found, though, on Kylie’s wrist and some backbone abnormalities were discovered in the thoracic vertebrae.
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 concluded it was his opinion Kylie’s brain injury was likely the result of a “traumatic” injury.
Pittman was represented in court proceedings last week by defense attorney Dwight Harvey. He will be sentenced on August 2 following the completion of a presentence invsetigation by Fulton County Probation Department.