NORTH FORSYTH — A 26-year-old Butts County man has been sentenced to life in prison without parole after a jury found him guilty of murder in the February 2014 beating death of his girlfriend’s 3-year-old son in north Forsyth.
Christopher Everett Truett was found guilty of the charges a Forsyth County jury indicted him on last September. Separate counts of felony murder and aggravated battery were merged into a murder charge. In addition, he will serve 20 years concurrently for cruelty to children in the first degree.
Forsyth County Superior Court Chief Judge Jeffrey S. Bagley handed down the sentence Friday.
On Feb. 25, 2014, Truett was babysitting Wyatt Pruitt, the son of his girlfriend, Dawn Shutts, at a home on Roseman Landing in the Bridgetowne subdivision.
The boy was found about 11:30 a.m. lying unresponsive on the living room couch in his mother’s home.
There had reportedly been some communication between Shutts, who was at work, and Truett prior to that time. When Shutts returned home, she had Truett call 911 and began administering CPR to her son.
According to the grand jury’s reasons for indicting Truett, he caused the boy’s death by hitting him in the stomach and rendering his liver useless.
The cruelty to children count stemmed from Truett maliciously causing “cruel and excessive physical pain by causing bruises to his head, abdomen, hand and testicle.”
Forsyth County Sheriff Duane Piper said at the time of Truett’s arrest that the child’s death was the result of “blunt force trauma severe enough to cause bruising to his little body from the front that extended all the way back to his spinal column.”
Pruitt was pronounced dead about 11:45 a.m. at Northside Hospital-Forsyth, according to the sheriff’s office.
During that time, Truett ran into the woods near the subdivision, which is off Hwy. 369 just west of Ga. 400. He was arrested a couple of hours later after a search that involved the sheriff’s SWAT team.
According to the sheriff’s office, the couple had met on the Internet and communicated online until about three weeks before the boy’s death, when they began dating in person.
Authorities said Truett had prior convictions for burglary and theft by receiving from 2007 in Butts County, southeast of Atlanta.