Charles “Charlie” Pittman has been charged with murder in the death of his fiancee, Olivia Green, who was found dead in her car last week at Tennessee’s Union University, a Christian college where they were both students.
Here’s what you should know about Pittman and this shocking development in the tragic case.
1. Pittman Is Charged With Faking His Fiancee’s Suicide
Around 7:50 a.m. on Wednesday, February 12, Greenlee, 21, was found dead inside her Toyota Corolla on the campus of the college — slain by a single gunshot wound. A gun was found inside the car.
According to the Jackson Sun, Jackson Police Department Capt. Tyreece Miller said the gun belonged to Pittman’s friend.
Police allege Pittman, also 21, shot Greenlee in her car on Tuesday night and attempted to make it look like a suicide.
He’s charged with first-degree murder and tampering with evidence, according to the official press release from Jackson police.
Pittman will be arraigned on Tuesday morning, February 18.
2. He Was Studying to Be a Moral Leader
Course offerings include “Approaches to Moral Decision Making” and “Contemporary Christian Life and Practice,” described as:
A course to investigate a wide range of contemporary issues as they relate to practical and ethical issues from a Christian perspective. Topics may include … marriage relationships, conflict resolution, evangelism, church involvement, Christian world view, devotional life, and practical ethics.
Amid the news of Pittman’s arrest, a statement from the university president urged students to “Let us ask for God’s wisdom, comfort, help and mercy during the days and weeks to come.”
3. He Was the Youth & Children’s Minister at a Local Church
Providence Baptist Church in Alamo, Tennessee, confirmed to the local ABC affiliate WBBJ that Pittman served as youth and children’s minister at the church, where he was employed since September of last year. He has been “suspended pending the investigation.”
The pastor, Reverend Randy Kellough, released this statement:
We were deeply saddened by the news of the death of Olivia Greenlee and as a church body we are praying for the family and friends and will continue praying for them in the days ahead. We have been informed of the arrest of Charlie Pittman, our Youth and Children’s Minister. We will pray for Brother Charlie and his family and friends. At this time, we have no further comment other than to reiterate our concern for the family and friends of Olivia during this tragic loss of such an awesome, young Christian lady. As a church, we will be praying for all parties involved.
4. Greenlee Was a Beloved Sorority Member & Devout Christian
At a memorial service last week, sorority sisters of Greenlee were among those to speak.
According to her obituary, Greenlee was a music education major at the school:
She was a member of Union University Singers, a group leader for the children’s music camps and the Zeta Tau Alpha Sorority, where she participated in many community activities. Olivia was a 2010 graduate of Dyersburg High School, where she was a member of the DHS Color Guard, the DHS Concert Band, the DHS Choral Group and a member of Miss DHS Court. She was a honor student at DHS and Union University.
Survivors include her parents, Barry and Tina Greenlee of Dyersburg; two sisters, Sara Hamm and husband, Zach, of Huntsville, AL and Mollie Greenlee of Dyersburg; and her grandparents, Rev. Joe and Nadene Naylor of Dyersburg and Norvel and Rose Greenlee of Eddyville, KY.
5. Union University Was Leveled by a Tornado in 2008
Greenlee’s slaying isn’t the first time students at the school have seen their faith tested.
On February 5, 2008, a powerful EF-4 tornado delivered a direct hit on the campus, as chronicled in this video:
The tornado leveled 18 dorm buildings, causing $40 million in damage and leaving 80 percent of the campus uninhabitable.