Annamarie Rittman

Annamarie Rittman (Photo courtesy KCCI)

Annamarie Rittman

Hit-and-Run Homicide

Annamarie Rittman
46 YOA
Lowe’s Parking Lot
Altoona, IA
Polk County
December 27, 2005

Annamarie Rittman, a 46-year-old employee at the Lowe’s Store in Altoona, Iowa, was struck down by a pickup that swerved into her on December 27, 2005. The mother of three was walking through the store’s parking lot just before 5:30 a.m. when video cameras captured on tape a red four-door Ford pickup truck running her down and hitting her from behind.

Polk County in Iowa
Polk County in Iowa
Altoona in Polk County Altoona in Polk County

Rittman later died at a local hospital.

Justin Andrew Pollard, a U.S. Army reservist, was charged with first-degree murder in Rittman’s hit-and-run homicide after police matched video footage and stickers on the back window of Pollard’s truck to the vehicle seen in the video. Pollard had clocked into work shortly after the hit-and-run.

Pollard, an Iraq War veteran who served with the U.S. Army Reserve 339th Military Police company based in Davenport, had married Emily White the summer before the murder, and the couple’s daughter was born just weeks before Rittman’s murder.

The murder charges were dropped in 2007 after a judge ruled the video inadmissible because it played faster than real time. Charges were refiled in 2009 after experts found a way to slow the video.

Evidence presented at Pollard’s trial showed not only his truck’s dented bumper, but stickers on the back window similar to those seen on the truck in the videotape. Defense attorney Alfredo Parrish argued that no fibers, human tissue or DNA linking Pollard to Rittman were found in the truck during the original investigation.

justin-pollard-and-alfredo-parrishCourtesy photo WHO TV Channel 13
Justin  Pollard (center) and criminal defense attorney Alfredo Parrish (right) during Pollard’s 2010 murder trial.

Pollard’s wife said he was never at the accident scene, though Pollard told officials he’d clocked into work at 5:31 a.m., approximately six minutes after Annamarie was run down.

Special Agent John Quinn of the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation said Pollard intentionally hit the woman and then left the scene. Authorities, who examined video footage from three different stores, claimed Pollard used his truck as a weapon to kill Rittman as she walked into work.

Throughout the trial, Parrish spoke extensively about Pollard’s two tours in Iraq and his role as a new husband and father.

Polk County jurors acquitted Pollard of Rittman’s murder in September 2010. KCCI raw video footage showed a smiling Pollard leaving the Polk County courthouse after the verdict, busily texting on his cell phone and using few words to respond to KCCI’s questions.

annamarie-rittman-gravestoneCourtesy photo Katie Lou, Findagrave.com
Annamarie Rittman was buried at the New Altoona Cemetery in Polk County. Her case remains open in name only.

In May 2012, Pollard filed a lawsuit against the city of Altoona, two Altoona police officials and a video production company. The lawsuit sought $14 million in damages and claimed malicious prosecution, false imprisonment, and negligence.

On Monday, Jan. 20, 2014, media reports said a settlement had been reached between the parties, but no settlement details were released.

Officials stand behind the evidence they had against Pollard, and are not actively seeking any other suspects in Rittman’s murder. Pollard cannot be tried again due to Double Jeopardy laws.

Annamarie Rittman’s murder remains an open case, but in name only.

Anyone with further information about her death is encouraged to contact the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation at (515) 725-6010 or the Altoona Police Department at (515) 967-5132.

About Annamarie Rittman

Annamarie Rittman was born March 30, 1959. She was survived by her husband, Brian, and the couple’s three children.

She was buried at the New Altoona Cemetery in Altoona, Polk County, Iowa.

Jury: Pollard Not Guilty – from KCCI TV

 

Pollard Verdict: More Reaction – from KCCI TV

Sources:

 

8 Responses to Annamarie Rittman

  1. I can’t imagine how this family functions knowing that the person that committed this crime will never serve time .

  2. Jack, we’ve included Annamarie’s case on the site because it’s never been cleared/closed. (As I mentioned on Annamarie’s page, it remains open, but in name only.) No one was ever convicted in her murder, though police are certain they had the right man.

  3. Kris Starks says:

    I wonder if this Pollard is any relation to the Pollard’s who live in Ottumwa, IA? Just wondering, because one of them is in jail for murder. He was seen on camera, robbing a restaurant downtown. He later went into the Cinema X theater there and robbed, and beat to death the owner of the business. A VERY scary and dangerous individual.

  4. Sounds like he got away with it to me.

  5. Jack Toomey says:

    So it’s not a cold case and he cannot ever be tried again for her death.

  6. Lori says:

    What a travesty of justice! Why the hell did they find him Not Guilty? I feel so sorry for her family. I can only hope karma works like a bitch!

  7. jessy says:

    Land of the free and home of the brave. With as smart as Americans are, you’d think they found a better way to pick a jury of your peers, instead of a group of idiots calling themselves jurors. what kind of world do we live in when a proven killer gets off scott free? Oh yeah, that helps me sleep at night while caring for a small child. If that guy kills again, I think the jury should be on trail right along with him; because they sent a known killer back out on the streets. to the jury, your judgement day will come and how can you even sleep at night with the choices you made?

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