A Souderton man accused of killing a 9-year-old girl who was his neighbor allegedly told a friend in the days leading up to the murder that he wanted to “snap” the victim’s neck
because he was angry at the girl, prosecutors contend in court papers.
The alleged statement made by accused child killer James Lee Troutman and events leading up to it should be allowed as trial evidence of Troutman’s “other bad acts,” Montgomery County District Attorney Risa Vetri Ferman argued in court papers filed Thursday.
“According to (witnesses), about a week before the murder, the defendant expressed his anger towards the victim. Upon seeing the victim at the apartment complex, the defendant stated, ‘That was one of the girls who got me in trouble,’
” Ferman and Deputy District Attorney Thomas W. McGoldrick wrote in court papers.
“The defendant then stated that he wanted to ‘snap her neck,’
” wrote Ferman and McGoldrick, alleging Troutman expressed his anger to his fiancée Heather Clemens and Clemens’ sister
Authorities alleged Troutman was “angry at the girls” and believed that he had been falsely accused by the girls in connection with an alleged April 18 incident at
Troutman’s apartment during which the girls reportedly became frightened after Troutman locked the door to the apartment while the girls were inside using the bathroom.
Judge William R. Carpenter is expected to hold a hearing on Ferman’s “other bad acts” request sometime before Troutman’s trial begins in January.
According to court papers, Troutman invited Kauffman and a friend of hers into his apartment so that Kauffman could use the bathroom.
“According to the girls, the defendant locked the door to the apartment while the girls were inside. While inside the bathroom, the girls saw magazine pictures on the walls of semi-clothed women,” Ferman and McGoldrick contended. “The girls became nervous and afraid, and they attempted to leave the apartment.”
Kauffman allegedly spoke to Troutman as her friend unlocked the apartment door.
“At that time, the girls ran from the defendant’s apartment. (Kauffman’s) friend was very upset over the incident,” Ferman alleged.
The father of Kauffman’s friend later confronted Troutman about the alleged incident and demanded to know what Troutman had done to his daughter, according to court papers.
During the confrontation, Souderton police responded to the scene and spoke to Troutman, the two girls, Kauffman’s mother and the father of Kauffman’s friend, court papers alleged. No arrests were made, according to court papers.
But Ferman and McGoldrick alleged in court papers that, according to Kauffman’s friend, Kauffman later told her that sometime after the April 18 incident Troutman saw Kauffman and said to her, “Why did you call the cops?”
Court papers indicate Clemens, Troutman’s girlfriend, has told authorities that “in the days following the April 18 incident, the defendant was very angry at Skyler and her friend.”
“According to Clemens, the defendant was angry at the girls and he thought that he had been falsely accused regarding the incident on April 18,” Ferman and McGoldrick alleged.