Pittman violated court order, became pregnant

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Reporter - Lauren Adams
Photojournalist - Chad Darnall

MARSHALL COUNTY, KY-  A judge sentenced Tiffany Pittman to 15 years in prison for driving drunk and taking a life.  Now, she is set to create one.  Pittman, jail officials recently learned, is six weeks pregnant.

In December, a jury found Pittman guilty of manslaughter and wanton endangerment for her role in the August 2011 death of Jimmy Harper and sentenced her to 15 years behind bars.  Investigators say Pittman was under the influence when she crashed into Harper's car and killed him.

"It was the appropriate thing to do for her to get mental health counseling, frankly in order for her to get through a trial," Foust said of his decision to sign off on an order that allowed her to have 15 sessions with a counselor before, during, and after the trial.

Jailer Roger Ford says it is common practice for his deputies to transport prisoners but because the judge did not believe Pittman to be a flight risk, her mother, Misty Flint was allowed to pick her up and take her to counseling. But, just a few days later, the judge learned that was not working.

A Kentucky State Police Trooper issued a speeding citation to Tiffany Pittman's boyfriend in late October. According to the report, Mark Knight Jr. explained to the officer he was "in a hurry" to get Pittman back to jail. But Judge Foust says, she never should have been out of her mother's care.

"The order was explicit.  Her mother was to take her to and from the treatments, that basically the only stops were for food," Foust explained.

At a hearing November 5th, Foust reprimanded Pittman and her mother and revoked the order. But on November 8th, he made the decision to allow Pittman to resume counseling.

It was a second chance, he says, she simply did not deserve.  He learned of her pregnancy just a few days ago saying, "It's highly disappointing."

The victim's family shares the sentiment.  Harper's oldest son, Dallas describes Pittman's actions as a 'slap in the face.'  

"There's obviously a break down in the system. She should have been supervised. All the crying and carrying on we saw during the trial was an act. If she really was as sorry as she told us, her actions would have been different."

The judge and Commonwealth's Attorney are still discussing it, but it is likely Pittman and her mother could be held in contempt of court. A contempt charge would mean an additional 6 months tacked on to Pittman's sentence.  Also, Foust says, it could hurt her chances of the parole she is eligible for in about a year and a half.

Jailer Roger Ford tells us Pittman will likely be transferred to the state penitentiary in the coming weeks.  A spokesperson for the Department of Corrections says Pittman will give birth in a hospital but then return to prison.  She will be allowed special bonding visits with the child.

 

Circuit Judge Dennis Foust had allowed Pittman to leave jail prior to her trial and receive the counseling he believed she needed.  But, as it turns out, Pittman, 20, was doing more than meeting with a mental health professional, she was spending time with her boyfriend.

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