The Hartford Courant reports that Dominique Pittman, 27, has been charged with the shooting murder of Evalyce Santiago, 16, and his bail has been set at $3 million.
Pittman is from Waterbury, Connecticut and has officially been charged with murder and criminal possession of a firearm. On Monday night, Santiago’s body was found in a crashed car with three gunshots.
Police say that the two were dating, but it is unknown for how long the relationship lasted. Pittman appeared in court on Wednesday. He is being charged with Santiago’s murder, even though he told police at one point that someone else committed it. Prosecutors consider him a flight risk.
Pittman’s public defender told the court he has a job at a warehouse where he has worked for five years, and supports his three children.
Court records indicate that Pittman admitted to shooting Santiago, but gave several different versions of the story to police. He first told investigators that he was driving the car while Evalyce was arguing with another passenger in the car, who he described as her boyfriend. He then stated the boyfriend shot her and he crashed the car after her body collapsed on him.
Later, Pittman admitted he was the only one in the car with Evalyce and she started arguing with him about borrowing money from him. He also alleged that she pulled out a knife and started cutting things off of his key ring, and she took out the gun she knew he kept in the console. Pittman claimed a struggle over the gun ensued when Evalyce was shot.
Evalyce’s friends don’t believe the relationship was sexual, but Pittman told police that they had sex and Evalyce threatened to tell his girlfriend of six years.
Police responded to the crash at 8:30 p.m. and found a Nissan sedan burning on the front lawn of a home on Thomaston Avenue, says The Courant. Pittman was still in the car and removed with minor injuries; Evalyce had two gunshots to the head and one to the hand.
The murder weapon, a .357-caliber pistol, was found inside the car.
Witnesses stated that the crash splintered a telephone pole and cut another in half, leaving the neighborhood without power.
*Photo credit Waterbury Police Department