Lacey man convicted of causing infant son’s brain damage

Herald staff

OLYMPIA — A jury convicted a Lacey man of shaking his crying 11-week-old baby so hard that the child suffered permanent brain damage.

Shane Michael Pitzlin, convicted Thursday by a jury of three women and nine men, could spend between nine and 12 years in prison under sentencing guidelines.

Pitzlin, 21, was convicted of first-degree assault of a child and second-degree criminal mistreatment.

Lacey police arrested Pitzlin on May 25, a day after the child’s mother, Destiny Bush, took the listless, twitching and vomiting boy to a pediatrician.

Defense attorney Linda Whitt told jurors that Bush was the one who shook the baby and that Pitzlin took the blame to protect the mother.

The baby is about 9 months old and functions as a 6- or 8-week-old, the prosecution said. He requires extensive care and is in foster care.

  • Activists sue state over Makah whale hunt: Anti-whaling activists are suing the state over the Makah Indian Tribe’s whale hunt, contending state officials are ignoring environmental regulations by not protecting resident gray whales. The complaint, filed by the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society in Thurston County Superior Court, contends the state promised last year to determine whether the Makah hunt threatens those whales. Society president Paul Watson said the state has since told him there is no cause for concern because there is no such thing as a resident whale. The lawsuit was filed Monday to force the state to prove that point, he said.

  • Saturday talks planned for newspapers, strikers: Talks will resume Saturday between this city’s two major daily newspapers and representatives of striking Pacific Northwest Newspaper Guild members, federal mediator Jeff Clark said Friday. Clark wouldn’t say specifically what made him decide to bring the two sides together, but said "the timing just seemed to be right." Talks last weekend ended without any progress.

  • Fort Lewis Ranger named Soldier of the Year: Army Ranger training is tough enough. Try completing it with a foot broken in three places. Lilton Moore not only tried, he succeeded. And that sort of determination is one reason why Moore, 25, was named Soldier of the Year for the Army’s Special Operations Command. Moore broke his foot during the first week of training. Rather than quitting or taking a medical leave, he kept the injury secret. To win the Soldier of the Year honor, Moore had to beat out seven other finalists from the Army’s elite units during a special competition Nov. 17 at Fort Bragg, N.C.

  • Truck falls off bridge; search on for victims: A tractor-trailer rig plunged off the U.S. 97 bridge and into the Columbia River on Friday. Divers went in the river Friday evening to try to recover any victims. The bridge crosses the river south of Goldendale. The Oregon town of Biggs is on the south side. It was unclear how many people were in the truck. The truck took out 100 feet of railing and then plunged 150 feet into the water, said Oregon State Police spokesman Lt. Gregg Hastings. It was unclear what caused the truck to veer off the bridge, but winds were gusting up to 60 mph when the accident occurred around 10:45 a.m.

  • Supremacist owes $66,000: Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, white supremacist leader Richard Butler owes the state more than $66,000 in personal income taxes, interest and penalties for 1992 through 1999, according to documents filed in U.S. Bankruptcy Court. Ted Spangler, a deputy state attorney general for the Idaho Tax Commission, said the proof of claim filing came in response to Butler’s recent bid for Chapter 7 bankruptcy protection from creditors in the wake of a $6.3 million civil judgment against him and his Church of Jesus Christ Christian-Aryan Nations.
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