Trial date set in child mur­der

Al­leged tor­ture slay­ing of Scott McMil­lan, 3, drew na­tional at­ten­tion

Daily Local News (West Chester, PA) - - THE MERCURY - By Michael P. Rel­la­han mrel­la­han@21st-cen­tu­ry­ @Ch­escoCourtNews on Twit­ter

The Ch­ester County Com­mon Pleas Court judge over­see­ing the cases of three peo­ple ac­cused in the bru­tal tor­ture and mur­der of 3-year-old Scott “Scotty” McMil­lan has set April 3 as the date the first de­fen­dant will go to trial.

Judge Wil­liam P. Ma­hon ad­dressed the case of Gary Lee Fel­len­baum III with his at­tor­ney, Ge­orge Ya­coubian of Philadel­phia, as well as with the at­tor­ney rep­re­sent­ing Fel­len­baum’s girl­friend and co-de­fen­dant, Jil­lian Tate, in the cap­i­tal mur­der case.

Ya­coubian told the judge that he was pre­pared to go for­ward with the trial sched­ule that Ma­hon had set in Au­gust of get­ting all of the pros­e­cu­tion’s dis­cov­ery, of fil­ing all pre-trial mo­tions by Nov. 1, and of start­ing jury se­lec­tion on the first Mon­day in April.

Be­cause the pros­e­cu­tion is seek­ing the death penalty, the jury se­lec­tion process will likely take the bet­ter part of a week.

Ma­hon said the Ch­ester County District At­tor­ney’s Of­fice had sig­naled its in­ten­tion to try each of the de­fen­dants — Fel­lenaum, Tait, and Fel­len­baum’s wife, Am­ber Fel­len­baum — sep­a­rately, be­gin­ning with Gary Fel­len­baum. But Ya­coubian, who said a re­cent health is­sue he ex­pe­ri­ence would not al­ter his sched­ule in the case, in­di­cated that he would file a mo­tion to con­sol­i­date his client’s case with Tait’s.

Ma­hon said that he had set the same sched­ule for the trial of Tait, in the unan­tic­i­pated event that the case against Fel­len­baum “falls apart” for any rea­son.

But Laurence Harmelin, the Wester Ch­ester at­tor­ney rep­re­sent­ing Tait, told Ma­hon shortly after Ya­coubian’s ap­pear­ance that it ap­peared to him un­likely that his client’s case would go to trial.

“I would say that the like­li­hood of Jil­lian Tait go­ing to trial is well less than 5050,” Harmelin said dur­ing a dis­cus­sion of the case. “I don’t think that’s go­ing to hap­pen. My ex­pec­ta­tion is that it is go­ing to be worked out” — mean­ing that Tait would en­ter a plea in the case.

Ya­coubian for­mally con­tin­ued Gary Fel­len­baum’s case un­til Ma­hon’s Oc­to­ber trial


This photo combo of un­dated images shows Gary Lee Fel­len­baum, left, and Jil­lian Tait, who were charged Nov. 6, 2014, with mur­der in the death of Tait’s 3-year-old son, Scott McMil­lan.

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