Woman suspected of murder confesses, avoids prison sentence

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FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. (AP) — Shelly Harmon was long suspected of killing her roommate in central Arizona in 1988.

She wasn’t charged in the death of Pamela Pitts until nearly 30 years later and not until she wrapped up a 20-year prison sentence in the death of her ex-boyfriend.


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Harmon pleaded guilty in March to the fatal beating of Pitts.

his undated photo provided by the Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office shows a law enforcement official discovering a photograph of Pamela Pitts in the wood stove of a home she shared with two others in Prescott, Ariz., in 1988. Pitts’ then-roommate, Shelly Harmon, recently confessed to killing Pitts and was sentenced to time she already had served in another killing. (Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office via AP)
This undated photo provided by the Pitts family shows Pamela Pitts at the Pitts family home outside Prescott, Ariz. Pitts’ then-roommate, Shelly Harmon, recently confessed to killing Pitts in 1988 and was sentenced to time she already had served in another killing. (Pitts family via AP)
This undated photo provided by the Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office shows authorities at the site outside Prescott, Ariz., where Pamela Pitts’ body was found in 1988 among a pile of trash. Pitts’ then-roommate, Shelly Harmon, recently confessed to killing her and was sentenced to time she already had served in another killing. (Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office via AP)
This undated photo provided by the Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office shows the site outside Prescott, Arizona, where Pamela Pitts’ body was found in 1988 among a pile of trash. Pitts’ then-roommate, Shelly Harmon, recently confessed to killing her and was sentenced to time she already had served in another killing. (Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office via AP)
This photo taken March 1, 2021 and provided by Yavapai County prosecutor Susan Eazer shows members of the Pitts family surrounding a photo of Pamela Pitts who was killed in 1988 outside Prescott, Ariz. Pitts then-roommate, Shelly Harmon, confessed to the killing in March 2021 after already having served time for the 1991 death of her ex-boyfriend. From left, Rhys Tarver, Becky Pitts, Tena Pitts, Carol Pitts (orange shirt), Sara Pitts, Paul Pitts Sr., Kerrie Tarver, Jarrett Tarver, Paul Pitts Jr. and Brett Tarver. (Susan Eazer via AP)
This photo provided by the Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office shows Lt. Victor Dartt working from his office in Prescott, Ariz., on April 21, 2021. Dartt led the investigation into the 1988 death of Pamela Pitts, whose then-roommate, Shelly Harmon, confessed to the killing in March 2021 after already having served time for the 1991 death of an ex-boyfriend. (Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office via AP)

In a shocking twist, a court recently agreed she won’t spent any more time behind bars. Prosecutors said it was important to get a conviction and bring closure for Pitts’ family.

The body of the rowdy but compassionate 19-year-old was found burned in a pile of trash outside Prescott, Arizona.

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