Local News

Suspected Rocky Mount killer won't face death penalty

Posted October 1, 2009

— The state won't seek the death penalty against a man accused of killing a Rocky Mount woman – one of several women whose bodies were found within a 10-mile radius in Edgecombe County over the past four years.

During a hearing Thursday, prosecutors said there were no aggravating factors that qualified the case against Antwan Maurice Pittman as a capital case.

Antwan Pittman No death penalty sought for Pittman

Pittman, 31, faces one count of first-degree murder in the strangling death of Taraha Shenice Nicholson, 28. He pleaded not guilty Thursday and has been held without bond at Central Prison in Raleigh since his arrest Sept. 1.

Authorities have said little about their case against Pittman or how they linked him to Nicholson's death. Her remains were found in March in a wooded area about a mile outside Rocky Mount.

Nicholson is one of five Rocky Mount women with histories of police run-ins, drugs and prostitution who authorities say were reported missing and were later discovered slain. A sixth woman who hasn't been identified was also found in the same area.

Family members of Pittman declined to comment after Thursday's hearing, but his mother said in an interview last month that he was incapable of murder.

Nicholson's mother, Diana Nicholson, was also in court Thursday's. She sat crying as she looked at Pittman.

"I want to be here for everything that goes on, for my daughter," she said. "It was very hard (seeing Pittman). My heart is hurting, It just hurts so bad."


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  • ncmickey Oct 1, 2009

    WRAL GOLO .....where everyone is guilty before a trial, and every crime should carry life in prison or death penalty....

    I wonder why the police force doesnt hire all you detectives, prosecuters and judges....

    You people crack me up.

  • Diabolical Oct 1, 2009

    Exactly , Pedophiles are interested in kids ..Kids only. Not women. That's why I don't believe he's the right guy.

  • purplepat777 Oct 1, 2009

    This is just another example of why American's parole system needs a total overhaul. If this guy had been in jail for the indecent liberties with a child charge, the woman he's accused of killing would still be alive (if he did it). Pedophiles DO NOT get cured. They WILL repeat their offenses. There's no way to keep kids safe from them short of locking them away forever.

  • Diabolical Oct 1, 2009

    No, I'm not defending the guy. 1 kid, is this a blame game from the mother or someone actually witness this? Usually a molester goes after many kids not just 1, that's why I'm surprised he only has 1 offensive. And exs can be vengeful. How long has this guy been out of jail? How long was he in for? I still think the murders are all connected to the same perp. He's not our perp for the prositute murderer. He is guilty of things but not this thing. That's all I'm saying. ;p Guess I'll watch the trial but I bet that she died the same fashion as those other women.

  • AnotherIgnoredComment Oct 1, 2009

    I would like to know a little more details about the case surrournding him and the two year old. {Was he walking around the house in his under wear? Did he actually molest this child? What was he charged with?}

    Indecent liberties means he molested the kid, not walked around the house in underwear....geez, sounds like you are defending this perv

  • AnotherIgnoredComment Oct 1, 2009

    not charged with killing 6 people just the one....so he is not the "serial killer." The problem with Rocky Mount is that so many people get killed they get lumped into a group. Just b/c 6 women were killed w/in the same time frame does not mean that one person did it. This murder may be completely unrelated to the others. They are not releasing info, so we will just have to wait until the trial.

  • Diabolical Oct 1, 2009

    I would like to know a little more details about the case surrournding him and the two year old. {Was he walking around the house in his under wear? Did he actually molest this child? What was he charged with?}

  • Diabolical Oct 1, 2009

    Okay, he's a pedihile which even makes this more interesting, grant it, he is guilty of that, and that ONLY!! and should be in jail. But, I highly doubt he is quilty of these murders and that the REAL serial killer is still out there. It is extremely, highly unlikely that he went from kids, to prostitutes??? The profile pattern does not match. Doesn't add up. So, IMO, He was a quick fix to get that town to be un noticeable again. Cummunity hated the guy any way and he has no where to hide or get back into society. Now that the pedihile is back behind bars, you don't think next year there not going to find another body. I bet they will, if this guy has already killed 6 you know he's planning on a 7.

  • deputydog1296 Oct 1, 2009

    Six murders aren't enough. What is wrong with our court system

  • 2beachy4u Oct 1, 2009

    Criminals aren't scared of prison time or jail time. Why should they be? They get 3 hot meals a day, get to work out, not pay bills and get free healthcare. They don't have to provide for themselves or anyone else. The State of NC needs to start enforcing the death penalty and maybe that would make some people think twice. An eye for an eye. All they get now is a slap on the wrist and off they go. This is ridiculous. I don't want my tax dollars feeding this monster and taking care of him. If it were up to me....Rest in peace buddy!