Jury recommends life without parole for Pittman
After finding Hobert Alan (Albert) Pittman guilty on all counts relating to the 2004 double-murder of his father, Hobert Pittman, and step-grandmother, Myrtle Satterfield, in Mauckport, the jury last Wednesday recommended a sentence of life without the possibility of parole.
Besides the jury’s recommendation on the murders, 26-year-old Pittman will be sentenced in Harrison Superior Court on Aug. 10 at 1 p.m. on the remaining counts.
Those include the attempted murder of his stepmother, Linda Pittman, plus conspiracy to commit burglary, burglary, theft and auto theft.
Co-defendant John Michael Naylor, 22, Frankton, who was allegedly with Albert Pittman when the shootings occurred, is expected to go to trial this fall on the same charges as Pittman.
During closing arguments of the sentencing phase Wednesday, Chief Dep. Prosecutor John Colin emphasized that the state believed that the evidence and testimony presented ‘outweighed’ each of the mitigating factors the defense presented.
Harrison County Chief Probation Officer Diane Harrison had testified on Tuesday that Pittman was on probation when the murders occurred. That is one aggravating factor the jury had to consider.
Defense counsel Amie Newlon of Corydon, while confirming to the jury that Pittman had served time in prison, said it’s not easy to find a job when you’ve served time for burglary. But, she said, the defense wasn’t there to make excuses for Pittman, but rather to ask the jury to consider that as a mitigating factor.
‘Albert’s a young man with a very unfortunate past,’ she said.
Newlon said the jurors could also opt for a lesser sentence than life in prison if they believed that Pittman was ‘an accomplice rather than the shooter’ the day that his father and step-grandmother were fatally shot and his stepmother gravely injured.
She also asked the nine men and three women to keep in mind the evaluations of the doctors, all of whom provided documentation of Pittman’s troubled past that included mental disorders and alcohol and drug abuse.
But the state had already told the jury that information given to the doctors to make their reports were supplied by Pittman himself, and his mother, Eva Mullen.
While admitting he found no joy in questioning Mullen about her son’s traumatic childhood, he said Pittman’s upbringing ‘may not have been ideal … but there have been others who experienced far worse circumstances who rose above’ their difficulties. And, Colin added, ‘Albert’s own mother said he knew the difference from right and wrong.’
Colin said Friday he is pleased with the life sentence.
‘I thought the jury made the right decision based on the law and the facts,’ said Colin, who handled much of the questioning of witnesses and addressing the jury. Prosecutor Dennis Byrd assisted.
Neither of Pittman’s defense attorneys, Shane Gibson or Amie Newlon, could be reached Monday for comment.
While the court is bound to impose the life sentence recommended by the jury, Judge Roger D. Davis will determine the sentences on the remaining counts.
Under Indiana law, juries can determine the sentence when life without the possibility of parole or the death penalty is sought by the state.
Editor’s note: Information for this story was also gathered by Staff Writer Jo Ann Spieth-Saylor.