Murder suspects arrested in Florida
A Mauckport man and his mother-in-law were fatally shot Saturday at the man’s home, and the suspect, the man’s son, and another young male wanted for questioning in their deaths were arrested Monday in Daytona Beach, Fla.
A third person, the dead man’s wife, was critically injured by gunfire but is expected to live.
A Pittman family member said that Myrtle L. Satterfield, 80, formerly of Bacon Ridge Road, Marengo, and her daughter, Linda K. Pittman, 55, drove home Saturday in a van to Pittman’s isolated house off Walnut Street in the Ohio River town where they were met by gunfire.
The family member said Linda Pittman was shot in the face, chest and abdomen, and fingers were shot off her left hand. Her mother apparently died from a bullet wound in her head.
Satterfield, a double amputee who had been living with her daughter and son-in-law at their Mauckport home, was in a wheelchair in the back of the van her daughter was driving.
The two women apparently did not know that Linda’s husband of 13 years, Hobert Pittman, 59, had already been shot to death, allegedly by his own son, Hobert Alan Pittman, 23, also known as Albert Pittman. The younger Pittman lived on Lemmon Street in Corydon.
Linda Pittman told family members that, although wounded and bleeding, she pretended to be dead in the van until her stepson and the other man, later identified as John Michael Naylor, 20, of Frankton, had left the property, driving away in Linda Pittman’s Ford Explorer that had been parked on the property.
Despite her wounds, Pittman drove about a mile away ‘ going around the gate at the end of the driveway that her stepson had closed and locked when he left ‘ to the River Bottom Inn in Mauckport, where she desperately yelled for help.
There, Pittman encountered her alleged assailants again, but they fled once people came to her aid.
Police had to deal with 3 crime scenes
Officer Bruce LaHue of the Harrison County Sheriff’s Dept. said the 911 call came just before 4:30 p.m.
Few police were on duty that afternoon, and LaHue was confronted with a huge challenge: ‘We knew we had three crime scenes: at the tavern, the home on Walnut Street, and under the (Matthew E. Welsh) bridge,’ where the suspects had abandoned the Explorer and fled in a red Plymouth Horizon with silver doors, LaHue said.
LaHue arrived in Mauckport and attempted to secure the scene at the tavern, although he was initially unsure if one or more gunmen were still in the area. LaHue spoke with Linda Pittman before she was rushed by ambulance to Harrison County Hospital in Corydon with life-threatening wounds. She was taken by STATCARE air ambulance to University Hospital in Louisville, where she remains a patient.
Linda Pittman told LaHue she thought ‘they’ must have killed her husband because she did not see him when she arrived home. The Pittmans and Satterfield had been at their farm in Crawford County before returning to Mauckport after rain canceled their work plans. Linda’s husband had left earlier than the two women, a family member said.
Lt. Chris Walden of the sheriff’s department went to the Walnut Street residence, where he found Hobert Pittman’s body next to a truck outside the home, which is secluded from the road by trees.
It was a tense situation for the police and neighbors who wanted to help. Radio communication was difficult due to the hilly terrain in the south part of the county. LaHue said dispatchers at the Harrison County Justice Center in Corydon, about 15 miles to the north, could hear him, but he couldn’t always hear what they were saying. And he had no radio contact with Walden once Walden was stationed at the Pittman house.
Marshal Todd Stinson of the Corydon Police Dept. went to Mauckport to assist, due to the lack of police manpower in the area. He secured the abandoned Explorer, which was partially hidden from the road by a concrete pier under the bridge.
Two men who came to Linda Pittman’s aid followed the suspects and provided police with valuable information about the vehicle they used to cross the Ohio River into Kentucky.
Indiana State Police crime scene technicians worked into the early morning hours Sunday collecting evidence at all three crime scenes.
After the two suspects were apprehended Monday, Harrison County Prosecutor Dennis Byrd issued an arrest warrant for Hobert Alan Pittman for murder and attempted murder. Naylor initially was charged with assisting a criminal.
‘Both Mr. Pittman and Mr. Naylor will soon undergo extradition proceedings in Florida,’ Byrd said. ‘The prosecutor’s office seeks the return of both individuals to face charges in Harrison County.’
A judge has found probable cause to detain them and the extradition hearing will be held Friday, Byrd said yesterday.
The younger Pittman had a Class A misdemeanor battery charge dismissed in 2001, Byrd said, and entered a plea agreement on a burglary felony charge. The agreement called for Pittman to serve four years in prison. Byrd said three years were suspended, and Pittman served one year in prison. He currently is on probation.
Byrd commended all law enforcement officers involved in this investigation and for the speedy capture of Pittman and Naylor.
LaHue said the ‘cowardly act’ committed in Mauckport was counterbalanced by ‘heroic acts’ of many others, including persons who helped the badly wounded woman in the van, law enforcement agencies that worked smoothly together, volunteer firefighters who stayed at the scene until early Sunday morning, and witnesses who chased the suspects, providing police with valuable information about the get-away vehicle.
Joint funeral service planned
Visitation for Hobert Pittman and Myrtle L. Satterfield is today (Wednesday) from 2 to 8 p.m. at Dillman-Green Funeral Home in Marengo and tomorrow from 10 a.m. until the funeral, which is scheduled for 11 a.m. at Marengo Wesleyan Church. Burial will be in Mount Sterling Cemetery. The Rev. Randy Pittman will officiate.
Satterfield was a native of Clark County, born March 14, 1924, the daughter of the late John and Ida Pendergraft Johnson.
She was a homemaker and member of Temple Community Church in Crawford County.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Arthur Satterfield, on Aug. 19, 1992; three sons, John, Leonard and Ivan Satterfield; three sisters, and a brother.
Besides her daughter Linda, survivors include two other daughters, Charlotte Copenhaver of Crockett, Texas, and Dorothy Parker Coffey of Conroe, Texas; two sons, Irvin and Daniel Satterfield, both of Columbus; a brother, J.T. Johnson of Otisco, and several grandchildren, great-grandchildren and great-great-grandchildren.
Pittman was a native of Pineville, Ky., born March 27, 1945, the son of Cyntha Gray Pittman of Corydon and the late Roy Pittman.
He was a truck driver for Bush Trucking Co. in New Salisbury and was a candidate for the Mauckport Town Council last fall.
Besides his father, he was preceded in death by a sister, Lorene Late.
Survivors besides his wife and mother include a son, Johnathan Pittman of Corydon; two stepsons, Ben and Luke Smith, both of Corydon; a daughter, Becky Pittman of Corydon; a stepdaughter, Juanita Stults of Corydon; six brothers, Roy, Paul, Don and Jimmy Pittman, all of Corydon, Wayne Pittman of Elizabeth and Ricky Pittman of Milltown; three sisters, Wanda Carver, JoAnne Morris and Marie Pittman, all of Corydon, and a granddaughter.