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Jury expects to visit Mauckport murder scene today

Jury expects to visit Mauckport murder scene today
Jury expects to visit Mauckport murder scene today
Hobert and Linda Pittman with Myrtle Satterfield on her 80th birthday March 14, 2004.

‘I sat there acting like I was dead,’ Linda Pittman said, testifying in Harrison Superior Court yesterday afternoon. ‘I figured that was the only way to stay alive.’
She was describing from the witness stand how she survived a barrage of gunfire on June 12, 2004, when she returned to her secluded home in Mauckport. She and her mother, Myrtle Satterfield, 80, who was in a wheelchair behind the driver’s seat, had returned from her mother’s residence near Marengo, where they had been preparing the house for rent.
Responding to questions from Deputy Prosecutor John Colin, Linda said her husband, Hobert, 59, had driven his old gray pickup (with his tools in the back) to the farm separately, as was usual.
‘He was trying to do the fence, but it was cold, rainy,’ Linda said. ‘He said he was going home to get warm.’
So he left before she and her mother.
It was the Pittmans’ 13th wedding anniversary, and she and Hobert had planned to go out for dinner that evening.
Unknown to Linda when she arrived home, Hobert had been killed with a single shot to the back of his head. His body was on the ground between his pickup, which was parked in an unusual spot, and the house.
When she drove up and stopped, expecting Hobert to come out and move the pickup, Linda said she saw Albert (Hobert Alan Pittman) come out of the garage with a gun. ‘He got in front of the van and shot … he shot at least twice,’ Linda said.
Then she said he went back into the garage and got in her red Ford Explorer and backed out. ‘All the time, I’m sitting there screaming at him, hollering his name,’ she said. ‘He pulls behind me, and him and somebody else gets out and starts shooting.
‘I played dead.’
And Linda said she knew her mother was really dead because she was quiet.
Linda’s testimony was a repeat of last year’s, when Albert Pittman was convicted as charged last August. He was sentenced for the double murders to two life terms in prison without the possibility of parole plus 73 years for nearly killing his stepmother, stealing and burglarizing the secluded Mauckport home. An appeal is pending.
At her stepson’s trial, Linda identified Albert as the shooter, but she could not identify the second accused man, John Michael Naylor, as the second shooter. Nor could she yesterday.
A detective, Tammy Pera of the Daytona Beach (Fla.) Police Dept., where Naylor and PIttman were taken into custody two days after the shooting, testified yesterday that as Naylor was being led into the building, he said, without provocation, ‘I’m facing the death penalty.’
Other statements that Pera could testify to were not allowed because those statements would have ‘impaired’ Naylor’s right to a fair trial, said co-defense counsel, David Mosley, objecting.
Naylor’s other defense counsel, Stanley Robison, pointed out through questioning Pera that Naylor had waived his extradition rights, agreeing to return to face the charges in Indiana, as did Pittman.
Pittman, 26, handcuffed and dressed in green-and-white-striped prison garb, made a surprise appearance in court yesterday, but refused to answer questions from the prosecutor. Pittman said he would testify for the defense. ‘The state will not be calling Albert Pittman at this time,’ Colin said.
Naylor’s mother, Retha, took the stand Monday.
She said when her son left home in Frankton on June 11, 2004, she cried.
She thought she would never see her son again.
‘He said he was leaving,’ Retha Naylor said. ‘He didn’t say where he was going.’
After reading from an earlier sworn statement to refresh her memory, Naylor’s mother said he left that day to meet a friend, Albert Pittman, in Corydon.
Retha Naylor, who is disabled and can hardly see, was on the witness stand less than 20 minutes. As she left, she passed by the defense table where her son had been seated. The two embraced briefly. Her eyes lit and she smiled the rest of the way out of the courtroom.
She did not explain why she thought she’d never see her son again nor did the prosecution or defense attorneys ask.
Questions from the jury, which were submitted to the judge in writing, were ruled inappropriate and neither read nor answered.
Judge Roger D. Davis, Mosley, Robison, Colin and Prosecutor Dennis Byrd met in the judge’s chambers before Retha Naylor testified. All apparently were in agreement to treat her with care.
At one point, when Byrd approached Retha with an open deposition ‘ a sworn statement taken earlier ‘ and pointing to page 116, line 10, the defense objected.
‘This is to be the easy type approach,’ said Mosley, barely audible.
Byrd assured the judge the deposition was to be used only to refresh her memory, after which she testified she had watched John leave that day from her porch, along with her other son, Andrew.
‘After he left, did you hear from him again?’ Byrd asked.
‘No,’ she said.
‘Did you hear from him on June 12, 2004?’
She last heard from her son when he called from Florida. ‘He phoned home,’ the mother said.
At the conclusion of yesterday’s testimony, Judge Davis told the jurors they would likely visit the crime scene today.
Thus far, testimony has confirmed that Naylor and Pittman were friends, talked frequently by telephone, had spent the night together at Pittman’s mother’s home in Corydon the day before the shootings, and left together in Naylor’s car on the morning of the shootings.
The prosecution is expected to rest its case today or tomorrow. The defense is expected to last at least another week.