A Souderton man has pleaded guilty to first degree murder in the death of a young girl. 25-year-old James Troutman entered his guilty plea Monday in Montgomery County Court, and Judge William Carpenter immediately sentenced him to life in prison without parole.
In return for the plea, prosecutors took the death penalty off the table. He also pleaded guilty to kidnapping, rape of a child and abuse of a corpse in the death of nine-year-old Skyler Kauffman. Troutman abducted her in May of last year after she had been playing with friends in a parking lot outside the Souderton Gardens Apartments where she lived with her mother and grandmother.
He took her to the basement, raped her, beat her head against the concrete floor and disposed of her body in a trash bin. Troutman lived in the same complex. After the plea defense attorney Craig Penglase applauded the district attorney’s office for taking the death penalty off the table. If that had not happened, he said, all parties would have had to go through a trial.