‘Angel of Death’ gets 38 years for Thanksgiving Day murder in West Rogers Park

CHICAGO — A Rogers Park man that prosecutors said earned the nickname “Angel of Death” because “every time he goes out, someone dies” was sentenced to 38 years in prison for murdering a man in West Rogers Park on Thanksgiving Day 2015.

Harvey Pitts, 29, was found guilty of six counts of murder during a bench trial before Judge Carol Howard on February 23, the records show. On Tuesday, Howard handed down his sentence. Prosecutors dropped a second murder case he was facing, according to clerk of court entries.

Saying Pitts intended to kill rival gang members, prosecutors charged Pitts with both murders in November 2019 while he was serving seven years in a federal prison for a gun case.

But the first murder victim, 23-year-old Albert Turnage, wasn’t a gang member at all.

Prosecutors said he was standing with another man in an alley in the 7100 block of North Clark when a gunman stepped out of a vehicle and started shooting around 4 a.m. on February 25, 2015.

Turnage died. The other man, 30, was shot three times but survived.

“Who cares?” Pitts allegedly asked upon learning that Turnage was not a gang member.

Pitts was accused of being the getaway driver in that crime. On Tuesday, prosecutors dropped all charges he faced in the case, including two counts of first-degree murder, according to court records.

Nine months later, Pitts was the triggerman in a shooting that claimed the life of 23-year-old Jontaye Walker in West Rogers Park, officials said.

Harvey Pitts (2019) | Chicago Police Department

As Walker worked on his girlfriend’s car in the 2200 block of West Thome on Thanksgiving, Pitts hopped out of a minivan and started shooting. Walker tried to run away after being shot, but he fell, and Walker seized the opportunity to shoot him several times at close range, prosecutors alleged.

Walker suffered 12 gunshot wounds. Officials said Pitts was eking out revenge for a previous gang-related slaying.

In March 2018, a federal judge sentenced Pitts to 84 months in prison for having a handgun in his vehicle in Skokie, according to court records.

Federal prosecutors called Pitts a “lifelong criminal” who committed his first violent crime at the age of fourteen. At the time of his arrest in the federal case, Pitts was 23 and had already amassed eleven convictions with 18 other arrests, according to a federal court filing.

Walker’s state felony convictions include possession of a firearm by a gang member, unlawful use of a weapon, possession of a firearm by a felon, and aggravated battery of a police officer, according to court records.

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