Convicted Killer Paroled, Living In McDowell

MCDOWELL COUNTY, N.C.,None — A woman sentenced to life in prison for her roles in two murders is no longer behind bars.

Rosemary Holland Gehring, 65, was released from prison on June 27 and is currently living in McDowell County. She is on parole until June 2016, having to abide by certain conditions, including being of good behavior; following curfew; not associating with her co-defendant; having no contact with the victims; reporting to her parole officer as directed; not associating with drug users; not assaulting, harming or threatening others; residing at an approved residence; paying supervision fees; and submitting to drug screens and warrantless searches.

Gehring's co-defendant, Garland Edward "Eddie" Pittman, 60, was released from prison on Aug. 2, 2010, and is currently living and being supervised by a parole officer in Buncombe County. He will be on parole until August 2014.

Both were imprisoned in connection with the September 1992 slaying of Pittman's son, 18-year-old Earnest Jeremiah Pittman, and the April 1991 murder of Wallace Wise, who was in his early 70s.

Eddie Pittman was sentenced to six years in prison for his son's death and was given two consecutive 40-year prison sentences in Wise's murder. Gehring, who was Eddie's live-in girlfriend at the time of the killings, was given a three-year active sentence in Jeremiah's murder and a life sentence in connection with Wise's slaying.

Both were accepted into the Mutual Agreement Parole Program (MAPP). MAPP, which is a three-way agreement among the Post-Release Supervision and Parole Commission, the N.C. Division of Prisons and the offender, is designed to prepare selected inmates for release through structured activities, scheduled progression in custody levels, participation in community-based programs and established parole dates.

Jeremiah Pittman's mother reported him missing in September 1992. In early 1996, Gehring came forward, admitted that she witnessed the teen's murder and led authorities to a remote gem-mining section of Rutherford County. There, investigators unearthed Jeremiah's skeletal remains from a grave 10 feet below the surface. That area was being leased by Eddie and his girlfriend. Jeremiah's skull had been crushed.

Soon after their arrest in that case, Eddie and Gehring were charged and convicted in Wise's murder. Wise was well known in the Asheville business community. He sold antiques out of his home and also dealt in real estate. On April 30, 1991, Wise was found dead of multiple stab wounds at his residence on Haywood Road in Asheville.

Authorities said Wallace had apparently met Gehring at an antique auction and the two shared similar interests. Detectives added that Eddie was an accomplice in Wise's slaying.