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Suspected of murder for a long time, she confessed but avoided prison

Flagstaff, Arizona. – There wasn’t a shortage of hints about who killed the violent yet compassionate 19-year-old Pamela Pitts in 1988.

Devilish cult. Drug dealer. cowboy. Former lover. A man with the nickname “Half Track”. Or maybe it was an overdose somewhere in central Arizona where people went to a party.

It took more than 30 years for the convicted murderer to confess and partially resolve the mystery, with several prison calls and eyebrow judicial transactions. But in a shocking twist, the court recently agreed that the Pitts murderer wouldn’t spend any more time behind the bar.

For years, investigators have been unable to find the evidence needed to arrest someone. The hints poured were not totaled. The killings caused widespread fear of the murderers in the loose areas around Prescott, a tourist destination about 100 miles (160 km) north of Phoenix.

And the case got cold.

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Still, Pitts roommate Sherry Harmon remained suspicious for 20 years in prison for a fatal shot of former boyfriend Raymond F. Jones. After her decision, police resumed the Pitts case, began monitoring Harmon’s phone, and finally collected 20 hours of recordings, according to a court document obtained by the Associated Press.

One phone call gave the prosecutor what they said they needed to link Harmon to Pitts’ murder. In it, Harmon’s father said he never told him what actually happened.

“I had a little time. There was a very big moment,” Harmon replied.

Dennis McGrain of the Yavapai County Law Firm considered it a guilty confession.

“She didn’t plan it, like a sudden quarrel with her roommate, but she did,” he said.

Harmon’s lawyer, Dwayne Kates, said the statement could refer to the death of Krelks.

Clerx wanted to end the relationship and intended to take their dog. In an outburst of anger, Harmon shot him while lying on the roof of a car looking overhead at the plane. After storing his body in the trunk of the car for two weeks, she smelled stronger and dropped it into the mine.

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Before confessing, Harmon said. I was planning to spend the rest of my life with this guy. “

With the death of Pitts, Harmon’s story changed over the years: she said Krelkus was her alibi. She said she was never at a party spot outside the town where Pitts went missing on September 16, 1988. She claimed that another roommate strangled Pitts. At one point, Harmon declared: I didn’t want to kill anyone. I loved her dearly. “

Prosecutors sought to draw similarities between the two cases to support the theory that Harmon was killed when he felt threatened or abandoned.

Mr. Kates said the prosecutor, who insisted at once, might have often said, “They are both humans and both breathe air.”

According to court documents, the prosecutor had all that Harmon was furious with Pitts over money, wanted to move, and shared news of Harmon’s pregnancy away from his father.

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The same day Pitts went missing, Harmon said he would drive around Prescott looking for her and killing her if she found her, the document said. Harmon also said he knew how to hide the murder. By burning the body or dumping it in a mine, the judge said he could be included in the trial scheduled to begin last week.

However, the prosecutor was hit hard when the court ruled that he could not present evidence of Krelkus’ death. The risk of unjustified prejudice was too great, the court said.

In addition, autopsy was not definitive due to the degree of Pitts burns. The court ruled that no one could suggest that it was murder or possible murder, which was stated in the report. The pit was identified from the dental records.

The prosecutor admitted that he faced the trial without the evidence he wanted to present. Some witnesses also died or their memories faded and records were incomplete. That’s when they considered a judicial transaction.

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“It weighs heavily on us and seizes the opportunity in court, rather than guaranteeing results,” McGrain said.

Harmon argued that the evidence was stronger against someone else. Kates wrote in a court document that the former chief detective of the case recommended prosecution against another woman in 1990 and was a star witness on the defense side.

He accused the prosecutor of deliberately postponing the case and not bringing it to the grand jury until a month after the death of the former detective in 2017. Harmon was charged with one murder.

Lieutenant Victor Victor, Sheriff of Yavapai County, who filed a case as a new detective in 2011, said he followed the lead until they no longer checked out.

“Only Sherry was able to continue to confirm,” he said.

Harmon lived outside Carson City, Nevada, after being released from prison for the death of Krelks. She got married, managed the rental property, did bookkeeping and tax affairs. Neighbors and friends called her a brilliant and generous Christian woman and let her take care of them, their pets, and their homes.

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Harmon wasn’t registered as a felony required in Nevada, so she noticed the allegations and was told about the murder when she arrived at the sheriff’s office, Dart said.

In March, she pleaded guilty to her second murder and agreed to elaborate on how she killed Pitts. Until then, authorities believed that someone else might have witnessed the killing and did not come forward.

Harmon said she was alone. In court, Harmon said Pitts was angry that he was late for rent and withdrew his joint bank account. So she went looking for her, the two fought, and Harmon said, “I just lost it.”

She said she repeatedly hit the pits on the ground until she was no longer moving and no longer breathing. As the voice approached, Harmon said, “I was surprised.

“I thought,’Oh, my god, she’s dead, she’s dead, and I killed her,'” said Harmon, whose maiden name was no guard.

Pitts’ family felt that the account was incredibly ridiculous and half-story weak. Harmon didn’t talk about how Pitts’ body was burned.

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“It was just to get out of jail. She got a gold ticket and ran away in a murder,” said Pitts brother Paul Pitts Jr.

Harmon was sentenced to 20 years in prison, but was granted the time he had been sentenced to the death of Krelkus and the number of years he had spent in prison waiting for trial in the murder of Pitts.

Still, the Pitz family celebrated — it wasn’t justice, but it was the end of decades of affair. They exuded the rock style of the 1980s and reminded me of Pitts, whose room always smelled like aqua net hairspray. Her family said she loved animals, cared for the elderly, was kind and cheerful, but also tough and knew everything.

Her body was cremated and her family spread ashes by Prescott’s geographical landmark, Sambute. There she liked hiking and visiting streams.

Her father bought dinner and drinks at a restaurant after a court hearing on March 1. The family flocked around Pitts’s framed photo and smiled thanking law enforcement agencies for being involved in the case.

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Pitts’ mother, Carroll, said Harmon had to kill and live her daughter for the rest of her “miserable life.”

According to court documents, none of Harmon’s family or friends attended her final court hearing.

She is forbidden to talk about the case by a judicial transaction. And her always talkative lawyer, Kates, would just say, “This was a much sadder case and I just needed to end it.”

A friend says Harmon, now 50, is back in Nevada. Mary Bourgon said she had several meals with Harmon and her husband. She says Harmon was unfairly imprisoned and believes Harmon pleaded guilty only to avoid prison time.

“If that was the only way you could get out of it, wouldn’t you?” Said Burgone, a former president of the Carson City Republican Women’s Club. “I don’t think she did that.”

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This story has been modified to indicate that the month the trial is scheduled to begin is May.

Copyright 2021 AP communication. all rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.

Suspected of murder for a long time, she confessed but avoided prison

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