Posted on

Naylor stands trial for double murder plus related crimes

On the second day of testimony in the double-murder trial of John Michael Naylor, Louisville forensic pathologist Dr. Amy Burros-Beckham said yesterday Hobert Pittman, 59, died of a single gunshot wound to the back of his head, but the multiple wounds of Pittman’s mother-in-law, Myrtle Satterfield, 80, appeared to have been made from a shotgun and another from a rifle.
Satterfield, a double amputee, was seated in a wheelchair directly behind her daughter, Linda, who was driving the van that was riddled with gunshots. Her body, strapped into the wheelchair, was found slumped forward in clothing covered with blood on the afternoon of June 12, 2004, the date of the shootings in rural Mauckport.
Pittman died immediately, while Satterfield lived no more than a few minutes after she was struck by multiple gun blasts, Burros-Beckham said.
She could not pinpoint the exact time of death of either victim or the distance from which they had been shot.
Testimony began Monday in Naylor’s trial in Harrison Superior Court for the murders of Pittman and Satterfield, plus the attempted murder burglary and other related charges.
The prosecution is seeking life without the possibility of parole.
Naylor is the second man to stand trial for the crimes. Hobert Pittman’s son, Hobert (Albert) Pittman, 26, was convicted last year and sent to prison on two life terms plus 73 years for related crimes, including nearly killing his stepmother. His case is on appeal.
Naylor and Pittman were each charged with ‘acting alone or in concert with another’ in causing the deaths, nearly killing Linda Pittman, stealing a vehicle, burglarizing the Pittmans’ residence and theft.
A 10-woman, four-man jury was selected last week to hear the case before Judge Roger D. Davis in Harrison Superior Court. The 14 jurors include two alternates. Linda Pittman showed no emotion as testimony began and continued throughout the two days.
Naylor, 23, Frankton, remained somber and quiet throughout the two days of testimony. He was clean shaven with short brown hair and well dressed. On Monday, he wore a dark gray suit, darker gray dress shirt and tie.
He is represented by New Albany attorney Stanley E. Robison Jr. and David Mosley of Jeffersonville; Prosecutor Dennis Byrd and First Deputy Prosecutor John Colin are trying the state’s case.
In opening statements, Colin laid out the events of the afternoon of June 12 ‘ a rainy, hot and humid, late-spring day ‘ and the state’s case against Naylor. He told how Linda and Hobert Pittman had planned to celebrate their 13th wedding anniversary that evening.
Colin said Albert Pittman and Naylor had killed the elder Pittman when he returned home earlier than Linda Pittman and her mother. He said the two young men waited for the women to return from working on Satterfield’s farm near Marengo, which had been damaged by a tornado earlier that spring. When Linda and her mother, who had been living with the Pittmans, drove up, a ‘barrage of gunfire entered the van,’ killing Satterfield and nearly killing Linda, Colin said.
‘She pretended to be dead and sat there, slumped forward, waiting for them to leave,’ Colin said. ‘Then she backed up and headed out.’
On her way to a tavern in town where she could find help, Colin said Linda met up with the shooters who were driving Hobert Pittman’s red SUV; the Explorer doubled back and headed for the Matthew E. Welsh Bridge.
‘Make no mistake about it; the state will prove to you that John Michael Naylor committed these crimes,’ Colin told the jury.
But Mosley, whose opening followed Colin’s, said, ‘Not a single, not one sliver of physical evidence’ connects Naylor to the crime, ‘not fingerprints, not DNA, not hair, not footprints.’
Called first to testify, Darryl Mosier, who at the time lived west of Mauckport, said he and his friend, Matthew Stanley of Louisville, were going fishing that afternoon when they happened by the tavern in Mauckport. The driver’s side of Mosier’s pickup was nearly rammed by Linda Pittman, who stopped just inches away and pleaded for help.
‘My stepson has shot me and my family,’ Mosier said she told them.
Moments later, two men drove toward them, and Mosier said Linda Pittman cried, ‘There they are!’ He could not say who was driving, but said one had long hair and the other, a ‘burr.’ The vehicle made a U-turn and headed east, toward S.R. 135.
While Stanley went into the tavern to call for help, Mosier said he followed the Explorer and watched as the vehicle drove down a gravel road and parking area beneath the Matthew E. Welsh Bridge to a red-and-silver Plymouth Horizon left there.
Mosier said he watched from a short distance away as the two hurriedly loaded items from the Explorer to the Plymouth, which was parked beneath the bridge, just east of Mauckport.
As Mosier attempted to leave, he said the two drove up the ramp and stopped six to eight feet from Mosier to check for oncoming traffic before turning south on 135 and heading south across the bridge
Mosier identified Naylor as one of the two men. He said he knew who they were when he saw them later on the TV news.
Later, police received a tip from Eva Mullins, Albert Pittman’s mother, which led to Naylor’s and Pittman’s arrest in Daytona Beach, Fla., two days after the shootings.
In the meantime, Mosier, who is married with four children, is purchasing Pittman’s Mauckport property for $150,000, the asking price while listed with a realtor, he said. The contract hasn’t yet been signed.
That led Naylor’s attorneys to suggest a ‘sweet deal’ between Linda Pittman and Mosier in return for his testimony.
Settling the arguments of attorneys, the judge said the jurors would have to decide that for themselves.