Tennessee youth pastor suspended for allegedly murdering girlfriend and staging her suicide

By David Edwards
Monday, February 17, 2014 16:06 EDT
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Olivia Greenlee allegedly murdered by Charlie Pittman (WBBJ)
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A Tennessee church confirmed on Sunday that it had suspended a youth pastor after he was charged with murdering his girlfriend and then trying to stage the killing as a suicide.

According to The Tennessean, Jackson police said that they believed Union University ministry student Charlie Pittman had shot his fiancé, Olivia Greenlee, in her car last week, and then he left the gun to make it appear as if she had killed herself.

“While investigating her background, we didn’t find any information that led us to believe she had suicidal tendencies,” Police Capt. Tyreece Miller explained.

Police also determined that the gun had been taken from a friend of Pittman’s without the friend’s knowledge.

The senior Christian ministry major was charged Saturday night with first-degree murder and tampering with evidence.

On Sunday, Providence Baptist Church in Alamo confirmed that Pittman had been employed as a youth pastor there. Church leaders said that Pittman had been suspended pending the outcome of the investigation.

“It’s shocking because he’s supposed to be a good example to the community and a Christian leader,” resident Megan Carter pointed out. “It just sets a bad example.”

Former Providence Baptist Church member Taylor Pillow found the arrest surprising because the church screened its youth pastors.

Pillow said that youth pastors were only eligible for the job if “he’s a nice guy, not on drugs, doesn’t smoke.”

Watch the video below from WBBJ-TV, broadcast Feb. 17, 2014.

David Edwards
David Edwards
David Edwards has served as an editor at Raw Story since 2006. His work can also be found at Crooks & Liars, and he's also been published at The BRAD BLOG. He came to Raw Story after working as a network manager for the state of North Carolina and as as engineer developing enterprise resource planning software. Follow him on Twitter at @DavidEdwards.
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