Tri States Public Radio Staff
Son Accused of Killing Mother
Fri July 13, 2012
Pitman Murder Trial : Day 3
The third day of the murder trial of Keokuk resident Adam Pitman wrapped up early due to scheduling conflicts.
Judge Cynthia Danielson is presiding over the case at the South Lee County Courthouse in Keokuk.
Pitman is accused of killing his mother, Rosa Pitman, in her home in the early morning hours of August 30, 2011. He allegedly confessed to the crime after being pulled over for a traffic violation several hours later.
1st Degree murder carries a maximum sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole.
The State of Iowa called just three witnesses on Day 3 after calling nine the day before.
Victor Murillo - Criminalist with the Division of Criminal Investigation's State Crime Lab
Murrillo was assigned to photograph Rosa Pitman's home at 1602 Concert Street in Keokuk. He says he started on the outside of the home and worked his way inside. Murrillo walked the jury through about 20 photographs of the crime scene and the car Adam Pitman was pulled over in after he allegedly killed his mother. Several photos showed Rosa Pitman's body, with the phone and extension cords still wrapped around her neck. The white sheet Adam Pitman said he used to cover her up was also visible.
Paul Bush - Criminalist Supervisor for the Iowa DCI's State Crime Lab
Bush oversees the DNA unit. He was testifying in place of one of his colleagues, who was not available due to being on maternity leave. Bush explained what DNA is and how it is collected to the jury. He also reviewed the results of several DNA tests conducted as part of the investigation. Bush says Rosa Pitman's blood was found on a knife and on a comforter located near her body, which was discovered in her bedroom. He said the chances of someone else, other than an identical twin, having the same DNA was 1 in 100-billion. Bush said the results were different for tests run on Rosa Pitman's fingernails. He said the clippings from her left hand included blood from at least two individuals. Bush said Adam and Rosa Pitman were possible contributors (1 in 150) but that a third, unknown individual was a possible source. Bush said when it came to her right hand, the results were the same, other than the chances of someone having similar DNA was just 1 in 6 people.
Carl Franzenburg - Chemist for the Iowa DCI's State Crime Lab
Franzenburg testified that he tested a small tin foil packet that was believed to hold a synthetic drug known as "caterpillar" but could not find any of the substance inside. He said another pouch contained four strands of synthetic marijuana, though it could not be determined when that package was first opened. Franzenburg says he was also able to determine that three different cords from the crime scene were connected at one time.
Day 4 of Adam Pitman's murder trial is scheduled to get underway at 9:00 A.M. on Friday, July 13. The order of the proceedings will change from normal practice. Assistant Lee County Attorney Bruce McDonald says his final witness will not be available until Monday. Judge Cynthia Danielson has ruled that the defense can call one of its expert witnesses on Friday with the case returning to normal on Monday.