Death penalty sought for man accused of rape and murder of Souderton girl

    Montgomery County District Attorney Risa Vetri Ferman announced yesterday that she will seek the death penalty for 24-year-old James Lee Troutman after he waived his preliminary hearing.

    Troutman is accused of the rape and murder of 9-year-old Skyler Kauffman earlier this month in a Souderton apartment complex where they both lived.

    “If ever there was a case where it was appropriate for the Commonwealth to seek the death penalty, this is it,” Ferman told the Mercury.

    Troutman faces several charges, including felony counts of first-degree murder, second-degree murder, kidnapping and rape of a child, and appeared before District Judge Kenneth Deatelhauser via web cam.

    Troutman’s defense attorney, Craig Penglase said that Troutman did not go to the courthouse partly because it was very close to the scene of the alleged crime and partly because of the threats he has been receiving.

    Penglase also said that Troutman told him that he suffers from either autism or Asperger’s syndrome, a claim which needs to be reviewed by a doctor.

    Troutman is schedule to appear at the Montgomery County Courthouse in Norristown on July 13.

    Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

    It will take 126,000 members this year for great news and programs to thrive. Help us get to 100% of the goal.