October 22, 2021

Woman convicted in shooting

A 32-year-old woman who eluded arrest for five years in a Cortland shooting was convicted Wednesday in Cortland County Court following a three-day trial.

Shenessa Pittman, who was staying in Cortland but had lived in Virginia, Alabama and New York City, was convicted of second-degree criminal possession of a weapon, second-degree assault and first-degree reckless endangerment for shooting Jevar Sturridge Aug. 30, 2013, at 152 Main St., Cortland, Cortland County District Attorney Patrick Perfetti said in a news release.

In August 2013, Pittman was part of a crowd outside a residence where she was staying and emotions erupted, and Pittman shot Sturridge in the left forearm with a small-caliber semiautomatic handgun, Perfetti said. Pittman fled to Virginia and the crowd disbursed before Cortland police arrived.

Pittman was charged in Cortland City Court — converted to a sealed indictment in 2014 — but remained a fugitive until her capture Aug. 30, 2018, in Newport News, Virginia.

“This was a particularly challenging case given the passage of time,” Perfetti said. “But the Cortland City Police Department had prepared a good investigation and took care to preserve witness statements and identifications that were the key to success in this case.” Sentencing is set for Aug. 15, Perfetti said. Pittman could face up to 15 years on the top count, the weapons possession charge.