WEST CHESTER, Pa. (WTXF) - The mother of a three-year-old boy who was beaten to death inside his Chester County mobile home in 2014, has been sentenced to prison after pleading guilty to third-degree murder charges earlier this year.
Jillian Tate, 33, has been sentenced to 42-94 years in prison after she and her boyfriend, Gary Fellenbaum, 25, were accused of torturing Tate’s three-year-old son, Scotty McMillan, over a three-day period in November of 2014.
Police say the couple whipped Scotty with a metal rod and would tie him to a chair and beat him.
Investigators say the boy was systematically beaten and tortured in this manner for the last 3 days of his life, all because the little boy refused to eat his breakfast.
When officers responded to the home, they found Scotty with a bloody nose and puncture wounds, lying on a deflated air mattress. He died on his way to the hospital.
Disturbing evidence left behind included a homemade whip, a metal rod, and holes in the drywall where investigators say Fellenbaum repeatedly smashed the boy's head.
Investigators say Tait and Fellanbaum had only been dating for a short period of time before the incident, and they had only been living together for three weeks.
Tait pleaded guilty to several other charges including conspiracy, endangering the welfare of children, assault, and related charges. Amber Fellenbaum, Gary Fellenbaum's ex-wife was also living in the home and was charged in connection with the incident. Amber Fellenbaum pleaded guilty to all charges.
According to the District Attorney's Office, both Tait, and Fellenbaum's ex-wife Amber Fellenbaum had agreed to testify against Gary Fellenbaum at his September trial, but never did after Fellenbaum plead guilty to first-degree murder.
Fellenbaum was sentenced to life in prison.