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Father charged in daughter's shooting death

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Roy Rodger Pittman, accused of gunning down his adopted daughter with a shotgun before shooting his adopted son and turning the gun on himself, was arraigned Thursday on murder charges after spending almost a month in the hospital.

Kanawha County sheriff's deputies believe Pittman, 69, shot his 15-year-old daughter, Brittany, in the chest at their home on Keystone Drive near Charleston on May 24 after a family argument. According to a criminal complaint on file in Kanawha County Magistrate Court, Pittman then walked across the street and told his adopted son, Matthew, 18, that he was going to shoot him, as well.

Matthew Pittman was shot in the leg, according to the complaint. Roy Pittman turned the gun on himself and shot himself in the face when confronted by deputies, the complaint states.

Roy Pittman, still wearing a hospital gown and with his jaw wired shut because of the blast, appeared before Kanawha Magistrate Brent Hall. Pittman is charged with first-degree murder, attempted murder and malicious wounding.

Kanawha County Sheriff's Department spokesman Cpl. Brian Humphreys said authorities waited to arraign Pittman until he was released from the hospital to save taxpayers money. The county would have had to pick up Pittman's medical bills if he had been charged while still hospitalized.

Brittany and Matthew Pittman were among six adopted children living in the Pittman household. Humphreys did not know if the surviving children were still at the house or if they had been taken into state custody.

After his arraignment, Pittman was taken to the South Central Regional Jail, where he is being held without bail. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. June 27.

Humphreys said deputies are not yet releasing a possible motive in the shootings.

In the days immediately after the shooting, family members rallied around Roy Pittman, saying the shooting was out of character for the father.

Reach Rusty Marks at rustymarks@wvgazette.com or 304-348-1215.


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