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Mom, boyfriend plead not guilty in torture death of Scotty McMillan

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A Chester County couple accused of killing a child pleaded not guilty.

Jillian Tait and Gary Fellenbaum were formally arraigned Wednesday and pleaded not guilty in the torture death of three-year-old Scotty McMillan.

The Chester County couple, who stand accused of murdering Tait's son, were also notified of death penalty aggravators: torture and death of a child under 12.

Tait and Fellenbaum waived their right to a preliminary hearing earlier this month.

Chester County District Attorney Tom Hogan said he will seek the death penalty in the case.

He says Fellenbaum, his wife, and girlfriend, Tait, all lived together in a mobile home in West Caln Township and worked at a local Walmart.

Police say Fellenbaum, Tait, and Fellenbaum's wife, Amber, confessed that the little boy had been beaten with blunt and sharp objects, whipped, taped to a chair with electrical tape and beaten, hung up by his feet and beaten, leading to his death.

Authorities say they beat Scotty to death using homemade weapons, like a whip, a curtain rod, a frying pan, and an aluminum strip.

They believe Scotty was being punished for not eating his breakfast.

After the arrests of Tait and the Fellenbaum's, Hogan said, "Little Scotty McMillan is dead. Over a three day period ... he was systematically tortured and beaten to death. He was punched in the face and in the stomach. He was scourged with a homemade whip. He was lashed with a metal rod. He was tied to a chair and beaten. He was tied upside down by his feet and beaten. His head was smashed through a wall."

Hogan said professionals with deep experience in these types of cases were brought to tears.

"Our ER nurses see a lot of terrible things. But when they saw his body, they wept," Hogan said.

The district attorney says Gary Fellanbaum and Tait went car shopping, bought pizza, took a nap and engaged in sexual activity - all while the child lay dying after weeks of relentless torture.

Tait allegedly told police that Fellenbaum beat her 6 and 3-year-old boys on a number of occasions. He would allegedly hit them with a closed fist in the head, face, chest and buttocks, and on one occasion she says he strung the boys up by their feet and beat them, while she and Fellenbaum laughed.

That 6-year-old boy is now in the care of relatives.

Fellenbaum and Tait are charged with murder and are currently being held without bail.

Amber Fellenbaum, who lived in the home with their 11-month-old child, has been charged with child endangerment for not calling police.

Amber Fellenbaum, wife of Gary Fellenbaum, is charged with child endangerment.


Related Topics:
pa. newschild abusechild deathWest Caln Township
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