TERRE HAUTE, Ind. — A Terre Haute man pleaded guilty Wednesday to voluntary manslaughter and burglary in the November 2017 slaying of a woman whose body was recovered from a lake.
Kenneth Pitts Jr., 58, entered the plea in the death of Alice “Anita” Oswald. His sentencing is set for Aug. 27. Under the plea, Pitts faces up to 30 years in prison.
“Our primary goal is to protect the community. With the defendant’s age, he could be in prison until over 80 years of age with the time he faces under this agreement,” Vigo County Prosecutor Terry Modesitt said.
Voluntary manslaughter is a killing committed while acting under sudden heat.
Evidence in the case showed Pitts was burglarizing Oswald’s home when she returned home and found him. Oswald, who was known to carry a firearm, fired a shot, striking Pitts in the face, the Tribune-Star reported. Pitts then struck Oswald in the head and face with a small ax at least twice, killing her, prosecutors said. Her body was later recovered from a lake.
Pitts was later apprehended in Nevada.
A fire set at the house following Oswald’s death destroyed evidence of the homicide, Modisett said.