Antwan Pittman Guilty Of 1st Degree Murder

Jurors have found a Rocky Mount man guilty of killing a prostitute, one of several women who were found dead in rural Edgecombe County.

Antwan Pittman was found guilty of first degree murder after the jury deliberated about 40 minutes in the case.

Pittman faces an automatic life in prison sentence without parole.

Pittman is only charged with Taraha Nicholson's 2009 murder, but is also a suspect in multiple other women's deaths in Edgecombe and Halifax counties. The trial was moved to Bertie County because of publicity in the case.

As the judge had the jury polled, Pittman appeared angry. At one point he cried and told the judge, "I did not kill that woman. I did not kill her. Y'all sending an innocent man to prison for life, I did not kill her." Nicholson's mother wept as the verdict was read.

District Attorney Robert Evans said he was happy with the outcome of the trial, but wouldn't comment about charges in any of the other cases.


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Jurors have reached a verdict in the murder case against Antwan Pittman. The Rocky Mount man is on trial for killing one prostitute, while he is a suspect in the deaths of several others.

The jury began their deliberations at 1:20 p.m. and shortly before 2:00 p.m. the judge announced there was a verdict. That verdict has not been read in court yet.

Pittman was one of two defense witnesses in the trial, taking the stand late Wednesday afternoon saying he did not kill Taraha Nicholson.

Pittman is only charged with Nicholson's 2009 murder, but is also a suspect in multiple other women's deaths in Edgecombe and Halifax counties. The trial was moved to Bertie County because of publicity in the case.

He described to jurors the encounter with Nicholson. Pittman said the two had sex at a motel on March 1, 2009, that he dropped her off behind the Rocky Mount library and he never saw her again.

Pittman told prosecutors under cross examination that Nicholson was the first prostitute that he had sex with. He denied having sex with two former prostitutes who earlier testified that Pittman tried to strangle them too.

Earlier Wednesday a state DNA analyst told jurors that Pittman's DNA was found on a swab of the murder victim.

Sharon Hinton, a state crime lab forensic DNA analyst, testified while Pittman's fluids were on the swab, panties found near the body did not contain Pittman's DNA. She said there was a mixture of DNA found on that item, Nicholson's and unknown DNA.

Autopsy results show the 28-year-old woman was choked to death. One of Pittman's attorneys say his client met Nicholson in February 2009 while she was working as a prostitute. Tom Sallenger told jurors during opening statements that Pittman will take the witness stand and explain that he dropped Nicholson off where he picked her up, but didn't harm the woman.


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Defense attorneys say the man charged with killing a woman in Edgecombe County will testify about an encounter he had with the woman.

Defense attorney Tom Sallenger said in opening statements Tuesday that Antwan Pittman will testify about a "rendezvous" with the victim, 28-year-old Taraha Shenice Nicholson.

Pittman is charged with first-degree murder in the death of Nicholson, whose body was found March 7, 2009. Autopsy results showed Nicholson was choked to death.

Nicholson is one of several women whose bodies were found over a period of several years in a rural stretch of Edgecombe County. Pittman has not been charged in any of the other deaths.

Testimony is to resume Wednesday. The trial is being held in Bertie County.



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Jurors this morning in the Antwan Pittman murder trial first heard brief opening statements from attorneys before the state began calling witnesses.

Pittman, 31, is accused of murdering one woman and suspected in several other slayings in Edgecombe County. He faces first-degree murder charges in the death of Taraha Nicholson.

Nicholson is one of eight Rocky Mount women whose bodies were found over a period of several years off Battleboro-Legget Rd. Pittman has not been charged in any of the other deaths, but officials say he is a suspect.

A jury was chosen Monday. Although the crime was committed in Edgecombe County, a judge moved the trial to Bertie County because of pre-trial publicity. Judge Cy Grant says the trial could last through next Monday or Tuesday.



Previous Story

A jury has been selection in the case for a man charged with killing one woman and linked to the similar deaths of several others in Edgecombe County. The trial for Antwan Pittman has been moved to Bertie County because of concerns of pre-trial publicity.

The 31-year-old Pittman was charged in 2009 for the death of Taraha Nicholson. The 28-year-old Nicholson's remains were found on Marriott Road on March 7, 2009. She is one of nine women with similar profiles found dead in either Edgecombe or Halifax counties. One of those bodies was found behind a home where Pittman once lived. He has only been charged with her murder.

The judge has indicated the trial could last into next week. Monday there were eight deputies in the courtroom for security.


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The murder trial of a man charged in an Edgecombe County death and a suspect in several others is scheduled to begin Monday.

Antwan Pittman is charged with first-degree murder in the death of Taraha Nicholson. Pittman was arrested back in 2009.

Nicholson is one of several women whose bodies were found over a period of several years in a rural stretch of Edgecombe County.

Pittman has not been charged in any of the other deaths, but officials say he is a suspect.

The trial will take place in Windsor in Bertie County because of publicity surrounding the case.


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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by kiddy Location: durham on Oct 1, 2011 at 09:33 PM
    I feel that regardless of what someone has done it does not mean that everything they are are charged with that they are guilty.I use to work with him also and he did not seem to be that kind of man.I feel like if he did it he will do that sentence.I also feel like if he did not do it then God will be with him carry him through the storm.And he will win his appeal.What I feel like is wrong is how can you sentence a man to life and not have proof.You have DNA angry people.And a ustice system ready to lay you down.
  • by Anonymous on Sep 30, 2011 at 11:37 AM
    Based on the fact that DNA was found on her body, but not her clothing, tells me that she was indeed, raped by him, and the fact that she did not re-dress is a good indicator that she was 'not able to'. Good indicator that he is guilty.
  • by mjb Location: Bertie County on Sep 30, 2011 at 11:07 AM
    They should have tried Casey Anthony here!
  • by Anonymous on Sep 30, 2011 at 08:45 AM
    How is that a jury that can see the evidence convicts in 40 minutes but several people on here who have neither seen the evidence nor were they at the scene of the crime are convinced he didn't do it? To those people: did you do it? Then how do you know? Or are you just complaining?
  • by Justice Location: Wayne Co. on Sep 30, 2011 at 12:56 AM
    "And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell." - Jesus Christ
  • by They are always innocent on Sep 29, 2011 at 09:25 PM
    Some of you who think he is innocent need to do some research. If he had indeed dropped her off where he said, they should have found his DNA in her underpants. Common sense would tell you that if she had put them back on after intercourse it would be present there. Her underpants where found beside her. She couldn't put them back on because he killed her. I used to work for DOC and 95% of the inmates claim to be innocent. The man is a convicted sex offender, I guess he didn't rape the child either...
  • by to Jennifer Location: enc on Sep 29, 2011 at 07:18 PM
    You do realize one of the girls was found behind a trailer where he lived in Oak City. And he was found drunk in a ditch on seven bridges rd and 2 days later a girl was found down a path less than 100 yards from where he run in the ditch. And he was a registered sex offender because he was convicted of raping a child.
  • by sal Location: cc on Sep 29, 2011 at 05:54 PM
    i really don't think he killed that girl. i feel sorry for the young man.
  • by pete Location: grifton on Sep 29, 2011 at 03:04 PM
    Maybe he can enlist the help of O.J and they can find the real killer.
  • by Jennifer Location: RICH SQUARE on Sep 29, 2011 at 02:42 PM
    WELL I WORKED WITH MR. PITTMAN AND HE NEVER SEEMED LIKE A PERSON TO TO DO THE THINGS THEY SAY HE DID. I DO NOT BELIEVE HE KILLED THAT GIRL OR ANYONE ELSE BUT I DONT KNOW FOR SURE I WAS NOT THERE. oNE THING I CAN SAY IS I DONT THINK IT IS FAIR BECAUSE FROM THE EVIDENCE GIVEN IT WASNT ENOUGH TO TAKE 40 MIN TO DECIDE THE FATE OF ONES LIFE. EVERYBODY IS HAPPY ABOUT THAT BUT JUST THINK IF HE DIDNT DO IT YOU HAPPY ABOUT A MAN GOING TO PRISON FOR THE REST OF HIS LIFE FOR NOTHING WHEN THE ONE THAT DID IT IS STILL OUT THERE LAUGHING. FOR SOME REASON IT SEEMS LIKE PEOPLE ARE GETTING AWAY WITH MURDER THESE DAYS, I MEAN CASEY ANTHONY CAN KILL HER THREE OLD BECAUSE SHE WANTS TO PARTY AND SHE IS SET FREE BUT HERE A MAN IS DEMANDING THAT HE IS INNOCENT AND THE EVIDENCE IS NOT SOLID PROOF BECAUSE THERE WERE SOME THINGS THAT WERE NOT FOUND BUT HE GETS LIFE. WHEN IS NC GONNA DO WHAT THEY NEED TO DO TO SERVE JUSTICE THE WAY IT SHOULD BE.
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