CHARLESTON, W.Va. - The Charleston area man accused of murdering his adopted daughter and wounding her brother before turning the gun on himself appeared in court after a month-long stay in a local hospital.
Roy Roger Pittman, 69, of Keystone Drive, was arraigned in Kanawha Magistrate Court Thursday morning. He is charged with first-degree murder, attempted murder and malicious wounding.
Handcuffed and with steel rods in his cheeks and jaw, he stood before Magistrate Brent Hall wearing a hospital gown and scrub pants.
He didn't speak, but it wasn't clear if that was because he didn't want to or if the apparatus prevented him from speaking. He responded to the magistrate's questions with a nod or a shake of his head.
Deputies confronted Pittman in his yard the evening of May 24 and saw him shoot himself in the face, said Cpl. Brian Humphreys, Kanawha Sheriff's Department spokesman.
"Domestic violence in all its forms and levels of severity is always a tragedy for the family," Humphreys said. "It takes away people's ability to feel safe in their home and come home and have some kind of rest and peace of mind. I'm sure this has rocked this family to its core.
"We're glad in a sense that we're able to file the complaints and move forward with the case and start towards some sort of closure but the fact is this family has been irreversibly changed and I'm sure that this impact is going to last for years and there's nothing we can do, no arrest we can make that would stop that."
Humphreys said detectives have not released any theories on Pittman's motives.
Jason Pittman, another of the couple's adopted children, said in the days after the shooting that Pittman had fallen in the bathroom and struck his face the day before.
Bridget Crist, another of their adopted children, was at her home across the street the day of the shooting. She told the Daily Mail in a previous interview that Pittman was behaving normally earlier that day.
Pittman was taken to Charleston Area Medical Center's General Hospital where he remained under guard for nearly a month. He was released from the hospital Thursday morning and arraigned shortly after.
"Anytime that we have somebody who is hospitalized that's been charged with a crime, if they're in our custody, they've been charged and they are under arrest, then the taxpayers are responsible for their medical bills," Humphreys said. "We waited until we knew that he would be discharged from the hospital before filing the paperwork and picking him up on the warrants."