YORK — Now clean and sober, Danny Ray Pittman confessed to a judge that he battled a drug addiction and then begged for mercy before pleading guilty to brutally beating his girlfriend and her teenage son in February.
I have the highest regard for human life, Pittman said while wiping away tears with his hands and a Kleenex. I had a beautiful family ... a beautiful home, only to tear it down.
Circuit Court Judge Michael Nettles on Thursday sentenced Pittman, 33, to 25 years in prison on two counts of assault and battery of a high and aggravated nature and grand larceny. Hell receive credit for the 315 days hes been in prison.
In February, deputies responded to an Elder Road home in Rock Hill after receiving a call from an 11-year-old girl who said her mother was bleeding from her head.
When authorities arrived, they found Kimberly Dawn Faile-Bryant, 35, badly beaten in her bed, suffering from a head injury. Her 16-year-old son, Christopher, was found outside on the ground, barely conscious, said Lisa Collins, assistant 16th Circuit solicitor.
Both Faile-Bryant and Christopher Faile were airlifted to Carolinas Medical Center in Charlotte, where for a week they received treatment for head injuries.
If not for 11-year-old Stephanie Bryant, who a month after the attack was hailed a hero for dialing 911, we really question whether they wouldve survived, Collins said.
After the attack, deputies noticed Faile-Bryants Kia Sorento was missing. Officials found Pittman, Faile-Bryants boyfriend, and the missing car in Horry County, where he admitted to stealing the car but not to beating Faile-Bryant and her son, Collins said. Police found blood on his clothes that contained Christopher Failes DNA.
Collins told The Herald that none of Faile-Bryants blood was found on Pittman.
Both mother and son were unable to recall what happened. Faile-Bryant remembered her boyfriend, Pittman, standing over her that night. Deputies learned that Pittman sent Christopher a text message asking for help to feed the dogs. Once Christopher walked outside, Pittman assaulted him, Collins said.
Both Faile-Bryant and her son, who didnt speak in court Thursday, deal with memory loss, Collins explained. Faile-Bryant deals with frequent migraines after suffering a skull fracture, Collins said.
Christopher was only 16. ... This changed his whole life, Kimberly Faile-Bryant said. Hes not the same person that he was before.
After reading Pittmans criminal history which includes convictions for grand larceny, escaping from prison, burglary, receiving stolen goods, strong arm robbery, assault and battery and threatening the life of a public official Collins stressed that the only deal on the table for Pittman was lesser charges.
Originally charged with two counts of attempted murder, Pittman agreed to plead guilty to the assault and battery charges, which carry a 20-year sentence.
Capt. Jerry Hoffman, who investigated the case alongside Detective Carson Neely, asked that Pittman be given the maximum sentence.
This is some of the most vicious attacks Hoffman said hes seen as a police officer. I truly believe if (Faile-Bryants) daughter hadnt called (police), wed be dealing with a homicide or a double homicide.
I dont think a day under 40 years is too much to ask, Neely said.
Harry Dest, Pittmans public defender, acknowledged theres an overwhelming amount of evidence against Pittman. If the Rock Hill man had gone to trial, a jury would likely find him guilty, Dest said.
Dest said there are two sides of Danny Pittman. Hes also a carpenter and loving father to a 14-year-old son.
He tells me each time ... the most painful thing is that I hurt the people I love, Dest said. Pittman, who claims he doesnt remember attacking Faile-Bryant and Faile, also tells Dest: I cant believe I did this, I cant believe I did this, but I know I did.
Dest said Pittmans remorseful and, though its no excuse, was high on hydrocodone, heroin and Xanax pills when he attacked his girlfriend and her son. He also smoked marijuana and used $60 worth of crack cocaine that night, Dest said.
He was messed up because of all the drugs swirling in his system, said Dest, who asked that his client receive eight to 10 years in jail.
I am a changed man, Pittman said through tears. Please know, I am not a savage or threat to society.
Judge Nettles said Pittmans actions deserved punishment. Theyre going to have to suffer for the rest of their lives for what youve done, Nettles said.
Faile-Bryant, her family and friends declined to comment after the hearing.
Jonathan McFadden 803-329-4082