Naylor guilty of murdering Satterfield, not Pittman
A jury in Harrison Superior Court returned a late-night verdict Friday, finding John Michael Naylor guilty of killing Myrtle Satterfield, 80, in Mauckport, and several other related felony crimes. Sentencing is tentatively set for March 2.
Naylor was found not guilty of killing Hobert Pittman, 59, the slain father of co-defendant Albert Pittman, 26, who was found guilty last year of that murder and other felonies committed by the pair on June 12, 2004. Those included attempting to kill Albert’s stepmother, Linda Pittman, assisting a criminal, conspiracy to commit burglary, burglary, theft and auto theft.
Linda Pittman, who was shot multiple times and left for dead that day by the two young men, waited anxiously in the courtroom for the verdicts.
‘I’m relieved and grateful but sorry for the family and jury,’ she said, reflecting on Naylor’s family’s grief and the difficult decision the jury had made.
‘I want to thank everyone for their prayers, love and support,’ Linda Pittman said. ‘It has been a long two years and eight months. I’m glad it’s coming to an end.’
Naylor, 23, Frankton, showed no emotion as the guilty verdicts were delivered shortly after 11 p.m. He stood expressionless, just as he had been throughout the 10 days of testimony.
The jury of eight women and four men deliberated about nine hours, from just after lunch until shortly before 11 that night.
Chief Deputy Prosecutor John Colin said later he was anxious while awaiting the jury’s verdict along with Prosecutor Dennis Byrd. Colin added, ‘But, really, with this jury, I had a firm feeling they were going to evaluate the evidence and make a decision based on that evidence, which I think they did.
‘I was relieved … ‘
Co-counsel for the defense, Stanley Robison, said the jury spent a considerable amount of time in deliberations. ‘I think the jury was thorough,’ he said. ‘They heard an insurmountable amount of information.
‘We thank them for their service,’ Robison said, referring also to co-counsel David Mosley. The two served as public defenders in the case.
After a brief discussion with the jurors after their release from the case, Robison said he couldn’t pinpoint the exact cause of the guilty verdicts, but the jury was bothered a great deal by not knowing where else Naylor could have been when the shootings occurred. Testimony had established that Naylor was with Pittman the night before the shootings and afterwards. The two were arrested in Florida two days after the Mauckport killings.
The jury returned Monday to begin the next phase of the trial, which would have been to hear evidence that could substantiate a sentence of life without the possibility of parole. Again, jurors waited together in the jury room as the courtroom drama continued to reveal details the 12 men and women could not know.
Naylor had decided that morning to throw himself on the mercy of the court rather than let a jury decide if he should spend the rest of his life in prison without the possibility of parole.
Judge Roger D. Davis questioned Naylor at length before dismissing the jury and made sure Naylor understood that if sentences were imposed consecutively rather than running together, he could still be facing a life sentence. But he could be eligible for release for good behavior after serving half the time.
The possibilities if the judge decided would be a maximum of 169 years or a minimum of 45 years.
‘What you are looking at is at least 45 years under the most favorable circumstances,’ the judge explained to Naylor. ‘Do you understand that?’
‘Yes, your honor,’ Naylor replied.
‘To get the maximum, aggravating circumstances must outweigh the mitigating circumstances,’ Davis said. ‘It may seem like I’m beating a dead horse, but I want to make sure you understand what’s going on.
‘You are giving up your right to have a jury make these decisions.’
Naylor also told the judge that medication given to him by a psychiatrist a week before the trial so he would be competent to stand trial did not interfere with his decision-making abilities or his ability to work effectively with his attorneys.
In last week’s testimony, a former jailer at the Harrison County Justice Center took the witness stand and told jurors that Naylor had confessed to murdering Pittman and Satterfield.
‘ ‘I’m guilty of killing those two people; I’m about to go crazy for what I’ve done … ,’ ‘ said Brian E. Wininger, now a patrol officer for the Harrison County Sheriff’s Dept., quoting Naylor.
On Thursday, Naylor’s defense team rested its case after calling just one witness to the stand, Naylor’s father, Dennis, who said his son had become steadily more despondent since he was arrested. ‘My best description of that is of a person who just went down, down, down.’