In the latest installment of Dateline on August 14, the true-crime series revisits the controversial case of Tracey Richter, who in 2011 was charged with first-degree murder for the shooting of Dustin Wehde in 2001, and sentenced to life in prison, a decision which was upheld by the Iowa Court of Appeals in 2017.
Richter’s eldest son, Bert Pitman, who was 11-year-old at the time of the incident, testified as a witness and defended his mother’s innocence during her trial in 2011.
Pitman’s father was Richter’s first husband, Dr. John Pitman. However, the couple divorced shortly after he was born in 1990. Pittman’s two half-siblings, Noah and Mason, come from Richter’s second marriage to Australian entrepreneur Michael Roberts. Noah and Mason, who were only 3-years-old and 1-year-old when their mother shot Wehde on December 31, 2001, at their home in Early, Iowa, did not serve as witnesses during her murder trial.
In 2002, Richter appeared on The Montell Williams Show to tell her side of the story. She said that Wehde, 20, who lived in her neighborhood, was one of two intruders who broke into their home and that they tried strangling her with pantyhose. While one of the men escaped, Richter said she shot Wehde in self-defense.
In 2010, after Ben Smith took over as the new Sac County prosecutor, he asked the Iowa Division of Criminal Justice to re-open Wehde’s case. New evidence brought upon Richter’s arrest in 2011, and Pitman, now 20, defended his mother in court, which he continues to do today.
On Dateline, Pitman recounts, “I could hear her running toward the door, and I can see her get yanked back by her hair and I could hear another set of footsteps start running. Then I heard she has a gun. I know for a fact that if my mom didn’t do what she did, I would be dead.”
Pitman Currently Lives In Iowa With His Girlfriend Margaret
Pitman resides in Des Moines, Iowa, where he runs his own construction business named Tile RX and works as the head lacrosse coach of the Waukee Warriors. Pitman also enjoys playing competitive poker. At age 30, Pittman appears to be living a happy life with his girlfriend Margaret Moburg, his dog, Reece, and a cat.
The last time Pitman posted about his mother on Instagram was on September 9, 2018. He captioned the photo with his mom and Anna Richter, “My last visit with Mí Madre,” and tagged the location at Iowa Correctional Institue for Women. Pitman also started a Facebook page in support of his mother. He wrote on September 18, 2018, “The new warden at my mother’s prison is an upgrade from the last one. There [have] been no more boring weekends with so many festivals and carnivals being hosted. We were so happy this weekend.”
According to The Cinemaholic, Pitman’s half-siblings, Nolan and Mason, live in Australia with their father Michael Roberts, who’s since remarried and had another daughter. According to Pitman, Nolan and Mason have not seen their mother since she was convicted of murder.
Pitman Has Since Changed His Last Name to Richter & Claimed His Father Sued His Family for Over $60 Million
Following the incident in 2001, police found in Wehde’s car, which was parked in Richter’s driveway, a pink notebook that contained a message in his handwriting that read a “mysterious fellow” named John Pitman (Richter’s first husband), had hired him to kill Richter. While authorities never found any other evidence supporting this murder-for-hire plot, Richter’s actions were originally deemed in self-defense.
However, in 2004, after Richter and Roberts divorced, her story shifted. She told police that Roberts was working in cahoots with her first husband and that together, they had hired Wehde to murder in her in 2001. Authorities were still unable to find any evidence to support this claim.
In 2018, Pitman wrote on his Free Tracey Richter Facebook page that his biological father, John Pitman, was suing his family for $60,350,000. Pitman said his father claimed they were conspiring to “tank his business through Internet posts about his business practices and counter-arguments to his lies in court and on national TV.”
“We took our case to federal court, after 100k+ in attorney fees and plenty of stress, we won and the case was dismissed,” Pitman wrote. “This has been a ‘turning of the tide’ for my family’s journey to clear my mother’s name. It was difficult to post any new information during this period of time that the lawsuit was still open.”
Pitman Identified the Alleged 2nd Intruder as Jeremy Collins, A Man He Said was Having an Affair With His Mother
In 2015, Pitman created a campaign on Change.org to fight for his mother’s innocence and opened up about what he saw on the night of Wehde’s murder. He also identified the alleged second intruder as Jeremy Collins, a man who was having an affair with his mother at the time.
On December 13, 2001, two men broke into our home in Early, Iowa with the intent to kill my Mother, Tracey Richter, and I. After they strangled her with Pantyhose, I tried to protect my brother and sister in my room. My mom regained consciousness, after a struggle she was able to get to the gun safe and shot one of the intruders to death. The other intruder was never found by the police, even though the mother of the deceased identified Jeremy Collins as a Prime Suspect. Since they were having an affair and he skipped town shortly after the House invasion. My mother was never charged with any crime until Ten years later, after a new young ambitious, and in my opinion Corrupt, District Attorney came to power in Sac County Iowa. Because of false testimonies, Incompetent and lazy police work, and the agenda of a wreckless District Attorney, the lower courts in Iowa convicted my Mother of premeditated First Degree Murder.