Union student charged in shooting death of Dyersburg woman

Tuesday, February 18, 2014
Twenty-one-year-old Olivia Greenlee was a senior majoring in music education at Union University when she was killed last week in Jackson, Tenn. Police say her fiancee, Charles Pittman, 21, was her killer and charged him with first-degree murder and tampering with evidence. Greenlee was a 2010 graduate of Dyersburg High School where she was an honor student.

JACKSON, Tenn. - The 21-year-old man accused of killing his fiancé and trying to make her death look like a suicide will appear in Jackson City Court today to be formally arraigned on charges of first-degree murder and tampering with evidence.

Charles Pittman, 21, a Union University senior majoring in Christian ministries, was formally charged on Saturday for the murder of his fiancée Olivia Greenlee of Dyersburg, Tenn. She was a 21-year-old senior majoring in music education at Union University and 2010 graduate of Dyersburg High School.

According to Jackson Police, Greenlee and Pittman were both students at Union University and lived off campus. Around 7:50 a.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 12, Jackson Police were called after Greenlee was found dead in her 2001 Toyota Corolla on the parking lot behind Luther Hall on Union University's campus. Union University is a private Christian liberal arts university with about 4,200 students in Jackson, Tenn.


Investigators and an assistant county medical examiner were called to the scene. A gun was found inside the car and the preliminary cause of death was a single gunshot wound. Pittman, 21, was developed as a person of interest in the case. On Friday evening, Feb. 14, investigators met with Pittman and conducted a follow-up interview. Based on their findings, he was taken into custody and booked at the Madison County Jail on an investigative hold.

On Saturday afternoon, Feb. 15, investigators met with prosecutors and discussed the evidence in the case. The evidence reportedly shows that on Tuesday night Pittman shot Greenlee as she sat in her car. Pittman then staged the crime scene to give the appearance that Greenlee had committed suicide.

Investigators prepared a warrant charging Pittman with first-degree murder and tampering with evidence. His arraignment is scheduled for Tuesday, Feb. 18, in Jackson City Court.

The Associated Press reported on Monday that a Jackson Police official stated the gun Pittman used in the killing belonged to a friend of his and that the gun was taken without the friend's knowledge.

On Friday, Union University students, faculty and staff gathered for a special prayer service for Greenlee in the G.M. Savage Memorial Chapel.

Union University President David Dockery issued a statement saying, "This tragedy, involving two Union University commuter students, is incredibly devastating and saddening news. Understanding that an arrest is not the same thing as a conviction, we now need to let the judicial process run its course. Union University continues to cooperate with authorities. Crisis counselors are available to serve our campus community. Individuals may connect with them by visiting the front desk at the Bowld Student Commons or by contacting the Office of Student Services.

During this difficult time, words motivated by hatred or judgment are not helpful to anyone. I want to encourage us to pray for all the families connected to this tragedy. Let us ask for God's wisdom, comfort, help and mercy during the days and weeks to come."

Greenlee was a 2010 graduate of Dyersburg High School, where she was an honor student, 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 member of the 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.

A celebration of life service was held for Greenlee on Sunday at First Baptist Church in Dyersburg where she was a member.

Police have not released a statement on what they believe is the motive for Greenlee's shooting.

* Story updated on Feb. 18, 2014

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  • Such a tragedy and loss of life from a beauitiful young lady. I cannot imagine what her parents are feeling at this time. Life will never be the same for them. I can only hope and pray that justice will prevail in this most heart breaking situation. May God be will all of her family.

    -- Posted by shayjbell on Mon, Feb 17, 2014, at 10:33 AM

    -- Posted by chief_ty20 on Mon, Feb 17, 2014, at 5:52 PM
  • sadness, shamefulness, and pity for the greenlee family is all I can feel. the question is why? why didn't he just break his engagement if he had changed his mind? these questions will probably go unanswered. god bless all ms greenlee's family, who are wonderful people.

    -- Posted by closerlook on Tue, Feb 18, 2014, at 3:29 PM
  • another life taken she never had a chance to enjoy life . my prayers go up for all involved , there are no winners . both families life is changed forever,with tear filled eyes ,i ask why ?please stop the killings .

    -- Posted by kitty3 on Wed, Feb 19, 2014, at 8:48 PM
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