Pittman takes stand in own defense

Antwan Pittman testifies
September 28, 2011 3:36:29 PM PDT
Antwan Pittman took the stand in his own defense Wednesday, denying he had anything to do with the death of a 28-year-old Edgecombe County woman.

But a parade of prosecution witnesses said otherwise. Pittman is charged with the strangulation death of Tarah Nicholson, but authorities have said they believe he's a serial killer suspected in the deaths of seven others - some of them believed to be prostitutes or substance abusers. One other is still missing.

A forensic analyst and a detective with the SBI took the stand Wednesday morning. Evidence they presented confirms Pittman had sex with Nicholson. State forensic experts said they found Pittman's DNA in Nicholson.

"The predominant profile matched the DNA profile of Antwan Pitman," SBI DNA analyst Sharon Hinton said.

Defense attorneys admit Pittman had sex with Nicholson as a hired prostitute, but they denied he killed her.

On Nicholson's panties, forensic analysts couldn't find any evidence of Pittman, but rather of an unknown person. They also couldn't find DNA evidence of Pittman on her shirt.

"The male DNA profile from Antwan Pittman was not detected in this mixture," SBI Forensic DNA analyst Kristin Hughes said.

But inside Pittman's apartment detectives found a paper bag containing one woman's red halter-top in a trash bag by his bed, among other things.

"A box containing one large shoe box contain bullets, and miscellaneous paper items and one small shoe box containing one bullet and one rubber glove," Edgecombe County Sheriff's Office Det. Gene Harrell said.

A computer seized from inside the home shows Pittman visited websites about rape.

"Rape galaxy ... rape in HD," digital evidence analyst Mark Schlitter said.

Pittman took the stand Wednesday afternoon and said he was not the person who visited those websites.

"It had to be one of my best friends, but it's not my doing," he said.

Also on the stand Wednesday, two women who said Pittman attacked them but let them live.

Former prostitute LIkisha Worsley said Pittman strangled her.

"I felt like I was going to die," she said.

Another woman testified Pittman also attacked her in a wooded area.

The trial continues Thursday.

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