Later that month, Christopher Pittman shot his grandparents as they
slept and then set their Chester County, S.C., home ablaze. The boy
was found roaming in the woods 35 miles away. Though he initially
told police a tall black male shot his grandparents, set the house
on fire and kidnapped him, he eventually recanted that account and
admitted to the shooting the couple.
Pittman added that he was not sorry for the shooting, a point that
his lawyer argues serves as proof that the boy was not himself when
he committed the murders. Pittman had been taking the antidepressant
drug Zoloft, and his defense contends he is not criminally
responsible for the killings because his prescribed use of the drug
temporarily impaired his ability to discern right from wrong.
Pittman was arrested for murder and charged as an adult, although he
was only 12 years old at the time.
Pittman was 15 when his trial began in a Charleston courtroom in
Prosecutors contend the teen knew right from wrong when he used a
shotgun, shown during
the testimony of Sheriff Byrd Parnell, to kill
Family members testified that Pittman, pictured during an emotional
moment while listening to testimony, was a good child whose behavior
was noticeably altered once he began taking the prescription drug.
Prosecutors, however, contend that there is evidence that Pittman
behavior problems before and even after taking the medication.
Christopher Pittman prison photo.
Christopher Pittman and friends, May 2007.