A southern Indiana man has been sentenced to 60 years in prison for killing a 15-month-old girl after kidnapping her from a relative’s home.
An Owen County judge accepted a plea agreement Monday for 23-year-old Kyle Parker of Spencer that dropped rape and other charges against him.
Prosecutors say Parker drank whiskey with Shaylyn Ammerman’s uncle on March 23 then waited until the family fell asleep in the Spencer home before abducting, raping and killing the toddler.
He pleaded guilty on February 3 to murder and kidnapping.
Judge Lori Thatcher Quillen said while many in the rural community wanted Parker to stand trial and face a sentence of life without parole, the risk was too great that he might not be convicted.
If Parker exhibits good behavior in prison, he could be released on parole in 45 years, according to RTV 6. He would be 68 years old at the time.
Parker was a ‘family acquaintance’ who visited her home a dozen times and used to play with the child, according to Fox 59.
Shaylyn’s uncle, Adam Ammerman, said: ‘He knew Shaylyn, he’s played with her, he’s taken care of her. He rocked her to sleep.’ He added: ‘I knew Kyle through a friend of a friend and he was supposed to be one good friend, and then he turned around and does this to our family, and all I can say right now is I hope he burns in Hell.’
Parker, 22, described by Adam Ammerman as a ‘family acquaintance,’ was arrested last March after Shaylyn’s body near the White River, around nine miles from her home.
She had previously been seen alive at midnight on March 23, 2016, when her grandmother checked on her as she slept in her cot. The child, who had earlier been put to bed by her father, Justin Ammerman, had disappeared by the following morning. An autopsy found Shaylyn suffered severe sexual trauma and died from asphyxiation.
Forensic pathologist Dr. Donna Stewart, who specializes in pediatric autopsies involving sexual battery and molestation, said that the toddler’s sexual assault was the ‘worst case of sexual trauma she had seen in her career,’ the affidavit said.
She said Shaylyn was beaten, raped, smothered and strangled.
Parker confessed to his stepfather that he raped and then smothered the toddler, before he poured bleach on both of their bodies in an attempt to destroy DNA.
He also reportedly told his stepfather that he burned Shaylyn’s clothing and pacifier.
In addition, Parker reportedly told his stepfather that he acted alone in the horrific crime, but planned to try and confuse investigators by accusing one of her family members.
Friends of Parker told police that he was attracted to young girls and that he liked pornographic videos with sadistic and masochistic themes.
However, he reportedly denied those claims when he was interviewed by authorities.