Prints fail to place pair at crime scene

Published 12:00 am Sunday, October 13, 2002

In the case of two men who allegedly assaulted, burglarized and robbed a 79-year-old woman in mid-August, Judge Nathaniel Walker found probable cause Friday to keep one of the suspects, Mark Anthoney Myles, 19, of 321 10th Ave., in jail under a $50,000 consolidated bond, while releasing Willie Landon Norris, 20, of 9397 County Road 45 from Dallas County Jail.

The next phase in the case is left up to the district attorney’s office, which must decide whether to present the case to the grand jury for an indictment.

Walker had postponed a ruling during a preliminary hearing Tuesday, due to &uot;gray areas&uot; in the opposing testimony of the victim, Olive Pittman, and state witnesses. He insisted that before issuing a ruling, a fingerprint analysis of the crime scene needed to confirm whether or not the two could be linked to the home of Pittman at Bradley Homes Aug. 18.

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By Wednesday, the results found no prints belonging to Myles or Norris in Pittman’s home, the prosecuting attorney in the case confirmed.

Pittman did positively identify Myles during the hearing Tuesday, which played a big role in the judgment.

But something else created a big problem that day.

Before testimony began, Pittman at first could not identify the only person she alleges to have seen the night of the assault.

After discussing the matter with the prosecutor and Det. Al Blackmon, the investigator in the case, for more than 15 minutes in and out of the courtroom, Pittman then came to believe that Myles was the perpetrator.

Following intense questioning from Jackson about the validity of her claim, Pittman became angry.

Once on the witness stand, she loudly proclaimed, &uot;That’s him sitting right over there,&uot; while pointing at Myles.

Pittman had admitted earlier to having trouble identifying the defendant she claims to have seen, but loudly professed, &uot;I’m sure. I’m not gonna lie on nobody.&uot;

Another witness, neighbor Hollis Richardson, 70, who at first told Blackmon he saw Norris around the area the day of the attack, denied he saw Norris at all, rather that he saw someone who looked like him that attended his church and wore braids but had a fuller face

Norris’ attorney, Angela Starr, questioned Blackmon as to why he had not documented all witness interviews, even those that didn’t support his position on who he thought committed the crime and why the alibi of the defendant hadn’t been checked out.

Blackmon found it difficult to respond, but said that an investigation was still ongoing.

According to testimony and police reports, three black men wearing dark clothing forced themselves into Pittman’s apartment between 7 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. of Aug. 18 after a knock on the door prompted her to answer. The time on the police reports also conflicted with her testimony, Blackmon acknowledged.

After being forced to the floor &uot;face first,&uot; Pittman broke her left wrist.

While one of the attackers sat on her hips, the other two men ransacked the home, taking a purse, which contained $10, and other property.

The three men fled the scene and Pittman went to a neighbor’s house to call the police.

Myles and Norris were arrested and charged with first-degree assault, second-degree burglary and second-degree robbery.

Because of Walker’s ruling, based on Pittman’s testimony that she know Myles was the perpetrator, Myles will remain in jail.