Sheriff says man charged in grandmother’s murder admits taking her pills, money

We’re learning new information about what investigators say was the motive behind an 83-year-old Graves County woman’s murder.

Neighbors found Linda Pittman’s body Thursday afternoon in her home in Water Valley, Kentucky. Her grandson, Michael Castleman is charged with first degree murder and robbery.

Investigators say physical altercation led to her death. Sheriff Dewayne Redmon says Castleman admitted he got into a struggle with his grandmother to steal her prescription pills and money to pay off a court fine.

Pittman’s home is full of her memory.

"She was a very sweet woman. Everybody loved her. She loved music," said Clarice Barnes, Pittman’s long-time friend and neighbor.

It also where Barnes discovered tragedy.

"I was expecting something bad, and it was," Barnes said.

When Pittman wasn’t answering her phone, Barnes and another close friend went to the home and found Pittman lying face down in her bedroom.

Redmon says at first it looked like Pittman could have died from natural causes, but then they found some red flags.

"Some things there at the scene looking like the possibility there had been a struggle that had taken place," Redmon said.

Redmon says that struggle was between Pittman and Castleman.

"We do know she didn’t die instantly, but he never called for help for her or anything like that," Redmon said.

Redmon says Pittman had filed a restraining order against Castleman about two years ago.

"He was very abusive toward her, as I understand from past experience of when we’ve dealt with him, and she was basically terrified of him," Redmon said.

Castleman has been arrested three or four times since then for violating the conditions of the restraining order.  

"That was a shock, because we didn’t ever think it would get to that point," Barnes said.

Neighbors are still trying to come to terms with what happened their friend.

Castleman is in Graves County Jail on a $1 million bond. He’s expected to appear in court on Monday.

An autopsy of Pittman’s body was scheduled for Friday. We’re still waiting for the results.

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