Court date set in murder of Union University student
Police say 21-year-old Olivia Greenlee was shot by her fiancée, who then manipulated evidence to make it look like she killed herself.
By Bob Allen
A former Union University student accused of murdering his fiancée and staging her death to look like a suicide returns to court July 10 for a preliminary hearing, according to local media.
Charles “Charlie” Pittman, 21, has undergone a mental evaluation since his last court appearance on Feb. 27 facing charges of murder and tampering with evidence in the shooting death of Olivia Greenlee. Greenlee, 21, a music education major from Dyersburg, Tenn., was found dead in a parking lot on the edge of the Baptist-affiliated campus the morning of Feb. 12.
Police say Pittman, a Christian ministry major and former member of the university’s golf team, initially asked authorities to search for Greenlee because he was worried about her emotional state after their date the night before.
Investigators asked him to turn in the clothing he was wearing on the date, and police say he tried to trick them by giving them clothes that did not match what he was seen wearing on surveillance video. He later brought in the correct clothing, which had been laundered and bleached, and changed his story to claim he was with his fiancée when she committed suicide but fled the scene to avoid suspicion.
The preliminary cause of death was determined to be a gunshot wound to the head. A 9mm handgun belonging to one of Pittman’s roommates was found in the car. Police said evidence at the scene contradicted Pittman’s account that he provided Greenlee with the weapon but that she shot herself.
If found competent to stand trial, according to the Jackson Sun, the preliminary hearing will determine if there’s enough evidence against Pittman to send the case to the grand jury. If he chooses, he can waive his right to a preliminary hearing and the case will proceed automatically to the grand jury.
Prior to his arrest Pittman served as youth pastor and children’s minister at Providence Baptist Church in Alamo, Tenn.
© 2014 Associated Baptist Press, Inc.