WCAU TV in Philadelphia is reporting that a Chester County, Pennsylvania couple is in jail, charged with beating a three year old boy to death. Jillian Tait, 31, and her live-in boyfriend, Gary Fellenbaum, 23, are in jail following the death of Tait’s son, Scotty McMillan.
Prosecutors say that Fellenbaum beat and tortured the boy for weeks. He was hung by his feet, beaten with a whip, and tied to a chair. WCAU says that his injuries were so severe that when he was finally taken to a hospital emergency room, nurses on duty wept.
Tait and Fellenbaum met, according to police, at a Walmart where they both worked. According to the Bucks County Courier Times, Tait and Fellenbaum regularly beat Scotty and his six year old brother, after the couple moved into a mobile home in West Caln Township last month. The two shared the home with Amber Fellenbaum, Gary Fellenbaum’s estranged wife. Amber Fellenbaum was also charged with child endangerment in the case.
Prosecutor Calls This Case ‘An American Horror Story’
Chester County District Attorney Larry Hogan tells WCAU:
Over a three-day period… he [Scotty] 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 and at the end of that he had bruises on top of bruises all over his body.
When his body went into the emergency room our ER nurses — who see a lot of terrible things — when they saw his body, they wept.
Police say that Tait has admitted watching Fellenbaum beat Scotty, and would sometimes laugh.
According to WCAU, Tait told police that the night Scotty died, she and Fellenbaum had left him to sleep on a mattress while they went out to get pizza for dinner. Scotty was unresponsive when they returned. Tait says that she and Fellenbaum then had sex, and she took a nap. When she awoke at about 7:30 p.m., she noticed that Scotty was not breathing, and she yelled for someone to call 911.
District Attorney Hogan announced a total of 16 charges against Gary Fellenbaum, including first and third degree murder, homicide, endangering the welfare of a child, assault, and reckless endangerment. Tait was charged with 15 offenses, including both first and third degree murder. Amber Fellenbaum was also arrested, and charged with child endangerment.
The judge denied bail for Jillian Tait and Gary Fellenbaum. Amber Fellenbaum’s bail was set at $500,000.