Owen County man to be sentenced for toddler’s murder

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Kyle Parker

SPENCER, Ind. — A veteran medical examiner called the wounds suffered by 14-month-old Shaylyn Ammerman the worst she had ever seen.

The toddler had been kidnapped, raped and strangled before her body was left next to a tree near Gosport on the morning of March 23, 2016.

Monday morning Kyle Parker, 22, a friend of Shaylyn’s father, will be sentenced to 60 years in prison for his confession to the killing of the child.

“I guarantee that he probably won’t make it through half his sentence, if that,” said Justin Ammerman when informed of Parker’s guilty plea to murder and kidnapping charges.

Ammerman will be in the courtroom of Owen Circuit Judge Lori Thatcher Quillen when his daughter’s killer is sentenced.

“I don’t think anything can hold me back,” he said. “What I want to do to this guy…”

Parker admitted that after a night of drinking he took Shaylyn from a bed at her parent’s home in Spencer and drove to rural Owen County, stopping to assault and kill the little girl along the way.

At first Parker tried to blame other friends for the murder but finally admitted guilt to his stepfather who informed police.

“I am ecstatic over it,” said Tamera Morgan, the child’s grandmother, when she realized that Parker’s guilty plea would preclude a painful trial. “I do wish he would’ve gotten more but he’s being put away. He’s finally admitting his guilt which is awesome. Shaylyn is getting her justice.

“A great burden is lifted off me because we don’t have to go through that trial because I don’t think I could have gone through that at all.”

The child’s murder broke the hearts of Spencer and resulted in incriminations and accusations against Shaylyn’s mother and father.

“It’s over and finally that’s all we wanted for it to be over,” said Morgan, “and hopefully the community can heal because this is the worst thing that ever happened in Spencer.”

“The only thing I could ask this guy is why he did what he did,” said Ammerman.  “Pretty much, ‘Why? Why did you do this to a little innocent helpless girl?’”

Absent any testimony, or Parker’s refusal to give a statement at sentencing, it may be a questioned that will go unanswered.