PORTLAND, Tenn. (WKRN) – A Portland man who police say was turning his life around died on his birthday, and investigators say the woman who supplied the drugs that killed him is now behind bars facing years in prison.
This sad case unfolded in a Greenbrier apartment complex on April 7, 2021. That’s the day officers responded to a call of an unresponsive man in the parking lot.
The man, later identified as 45-year-old Benjamin Pitt, was taken to a local hospital where he was pronounced dead on his birthday.
Medical records say Pitt died of acute intoxication of fentanyl and methamphetamines.
According to Detective Charles Arms who spear-headed the four month long investigation, Pitt was a father and an army vet. Pitt’s Facebook page claimed he was studying law at a local university.
Detective Arms spent a lot of time talking to the family and he told News 2 that Pitts had drug problems in the past but was turning his life around.
“He just got his life on track. He just saw his father the day before. His father said he was in good spirits then this happened,” Detective Arms said.
He told News 2 the investigation quickly focused on Dawna Wilson, a woman who happened to be with Pitts.
After four months, on August 10th Greenbrier police arrested Wilson, who Detective Arms said was packing up to leave the state.
“She got blind sided with it. She was in the process of leaving town, like the state, when I took that picture. We got very lucky. Within five minutes she would have been gone,” Arms said.
A Grand Jury indicted Wilson on second degree murder charges. If convicted, she is looking at anywhere from 10 to 25 years in prison.
Arms says talking to family members about a loved ones’ death is never easy.
“It is the toughest part of the job. We sympathize with them and you begin to know them, understand who they are, their habits, their daily lifestyle. And to see the hurt in the father’s eyes, that is the toughest part of this job. I wish I didn’t have to do it.”
Wilson is in the Robertson county jail under a $130,000 bond.