On day James Lee Troutman pleads guilty, Skyler Kauffman still mourned

The scene of the gruesome May 2011 murder was quiet yesterday, though some community members gathered where Skyler was found dead near the apartment complex she called home.

The Montgomery County man accused of strangling and dumping a 9-year-old girl’s body last year will spend the rest of his life in prison after pleading guilty yesterday.

James Lee Troutman, 25, admitted to killing Skyler Kauffman after sexually assaulting her in the basement of the apartment complex where they both resided on May 9, 2011. Authorities found Skyler’s body inside a Dumpster wrapped in a blanket hours after her mother reported her missing.

John “Inky” White, of Bikers Against Child Abuse, said he has followed the case since Troutman’s arrest. He believes that a full trial would have only caused more pain for Skyler’s family.

“I couldn’t even handle what I was hearing” at the preliminary hearing, White said, as he and other bikers gathered outside the apartment to remember Skyler. “For the family, Amen, [prosecutors] couldn’t have done a better job.”

Troutman’s attorney claimed that his client had been in and out of institutions since he was a young child due to mental instability. He was allegedly investigated several times for inappropriate sexual contact with minors, including a few weeks before the murder when he reportedly tried to lock Skyler and another girl in his apartment. Skyler’s mother called police, but charges were never filed.

Residents said it is still hard to believe such a crime happened in their quiet community.

“I still like Souderton, I’m just amazed and dumbfounded it happened in Souderton, but it can happen anywhere” Haggerty said. “He’s not wrapped tight, so that know any geographic boundaries.”

Never gonna see the light of day

Troutman pleaded guilty to first-degree murder, kidnapping, abuse of a corpse and involuntary deviate sexual intercourse. Under Troutman’s plea agreement, he will not face the death penalty, but instead automatically receives life in prison without the chance of parole.

Community members in the small town were shocked by the murder. Some said yesterday that the life sentence was fitting for such a gruesome crime.

“I’m happy he’s never gonna see the light of day,” Souderton resident John Haggerty said.


Dr. Dre is king of hip hop with…

With $620 million in estimated pre-tax earnings, veteran rapper and record producer Dr. Dre topped Forbes list as the highest paid hip hop artist, ousting Sean "Diddy" Combs from the…


Bin Laden son-in-law sentenced to life in U.S.…

A seemingly unrepentant Suleiman Abu Ghaith, a son-in-law of Osama bin Laden, was sentenced to life in prison on Tuesday in New York following his conviction on terrorism charges.


Bloomberg: Going green will grant you longer life…

Former NYC mayor Michael Bloomberg tells Metro that cities are where fighting global warming can make a difference, and increase people’s lifespan.


Ban Ki Moon: "Climate change is an issue…

My message to you is: make your voice heard and your actions count. Change is in the air. Solutions exist. The race is on. It’s time to lead.


Craig Ferguson wants you to see his new…

Craig Ferguson thinks his new game show will become "a comedy show in which a game is played and money is won."


Anthony Anderson on dealing with your 'ish'

Anthony Anderson discusses finding the humor in his "Black-ish" family.


Photos: See who Robert Pattinson was caught holding…

Robert Pattinson has a new girlfriend.

The Word

The Word: Kris and Bruce Jenner's predictably public…

They said it wouldn't last — mostly because of that separation almost a year ago. And now, more than a year later, Kris and Bruce…


Bud Selig honors Derek Jeter as both prepare…

Bud Selig’s 22-year reign as commissioner will end Sunday, and while it’s had its share of negative moments, it also had Derek Jeter.


Column: Geno Smith not the answer for Jets…

There were highs for Jets quarterback Geno Smith in Monday night’s loss to the Bears and there were incredible lows.


3 things that went right in Jets loss…

It wasn't the result the Jets wanted, a 27-19 loss to the Bears, but this team deserves some credit.


Here's the 8 best and worst sporting goodbyes

With Derek Jeter set to retire following the 2014 Major League Baseball season, we look back at some of the great and not-so-great sporting goodbyes.


NYC fall real estate hot list

The upcoming developments and areas everyone's buzzing about.


Milan Fashion Week shows the best of Italian…

Metro rounds up the cut of the collections at Milan Fashion Week.


The 2014 Maker Faire saw robots, printers and…

Got a broken button maker? There’s a fix for that – and Tony Stanzione of the Fixers’ Collective says he can show you how.


First look: Uniqlo's fall/winter 2014 kids collection

Get a sneak peek at Uniqlo's kids and babies fall/winter 2014 line.