Man convicted of murder in Winston-Salem man’s death

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36-year-old Shanta Shamell Pitts

FORSYTH COUNTY, N.C. — A man was sentenced to between 12 years to 15 years and two months Tuesday in Forsyth Superior Court after pleaded guilty to shooting and killing a Winston-Salem man.

Shanta Shamell Pitts, 36, pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in the death of 47-year-old Derrick Hasten Russell on Nov. 23, 2011.

Assistant District Attorney Jennifer Martin said Russell was angry that Pitts had had an affair with his estranged wife and sent him threatening text messages.

Both men reportedly sent each other threatening messages and phone calls. Pitts eventually drove over to Russell’s home in the Sugar Creek apartment complex and reportedly shot him six times.

Alvon Russell Freeman is the victim’s younger brother and said that Russell’s death has caused him great pain. He said Pitts should have been convicted of first degree murder.

Read full story: The Winston-Salem Journal.

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