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Crime & Courts

Pennsylvania man pleads guilty to raping, murdering 9-year-old Skyler Kauffman


This image, provided by Fox affiliate WTXF-TV, shows 9-year-old Skyler Kauffman.

A suburban Philadelphia man will spend the rest of his life in prison for raping and murdering a 9-year-old girl in the basement of the apartment complex where they both lived.

James Lee Troutman pleaded guilty Monday to strangling Skyler Kauffman and slamming her head against the basement floor before dumping her body in a commercial trash bin in May.

Defense attorney Craig Penglase tells the Bucks County Courier Times that his client has wanted to plead guilty since his arrest and confession. He says he was pleased prosecutors accepted a deal that would spare the victim's family the ordeal of a trial.

Kauffman's mother complained to police about an encounter involving Troutman and her daughter a few weeks before the killing, but no charges were filed.

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