Southeastern PA

Mom pleads guilty in torture death of 3-year-old boy

Ex-boyfriend awaiting trial in case

Mom pleads guilty in torture death of...

WEST CHESTER, Pa. - A Chester County woman faces up to 128 years behind bars after admitting to playing a role in the brutal beating death of her three-year-old son.

Jillian Tait pleaded guilty Wednesday to multiple charges, including third-degree murder, conspiracy to commit first-degree murder, endangering the welfare of children, and simple assault.

Tait and her then-boyfriend, Gary Fellenbaum, were arrested after Tait's son, Scotty McMillan, was found to have been "systematically tortured and beaten to death" inside their West Caln Township home over a three-day period in 2014, according to prosecutors.

Tait's plea allows her to avoid a possible death sentence. She now faces between 64 and 128 years in state prison, according to Chester County prosecutors.

Tait has also agreed to testify against Fellenbaum at his trial, which is scheduled to start in September.

Also Wednesday, Amber Fellenbaum, Gary Fellenbaum's wife, pleaded guilty to all four charges against her, which are two counts each of endangering the welfare of children and reckless endangerment. She was in the home at the time of the abuse and failed to report it, prosecutors said.

Amber Fellenbaum faces a sentence of between nine and 18 years in prison.

Both women will be sentenced after Fellenbaum's trial. Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty for him.


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