Victim: Anthony Pillittere, 57
Age at time of murder: 17
Crime location: New Orleans
Crime date: May 21 ,1977
Murder method: Stabbing
Incarceration status: Paroled
Two weeks after running away from a rehab center, Unger murdered Anthony, a security guard who was patrolling the Delgado Community College campus. Unger was paroled and has moved to Georgia.
In May 1977, Charles Unger fatally stabbed security guard Anthony Pillittere, who was patrolling the Delgado Community College campus in New Orleans. Pillittere was found lying on his back and bleeding, court documents say. Unger was just a few feet away, having been shot twice. Next to Unger was a kitchen knife.
Unger’s motive for attacking the security guard was never clear during his trial that fall. Four decades later, at his parole hearing, he still couldn’t provide much of an explanation, though he took full responsibility for starting the fight.
Unger, who at the time of the crime was 17, said he thought then the security guard was going to fatally shoot him. At his parole hearing last month, he admitted that didn’t make a whole lot of sense. As they struggled, Pillittere shot Unger twice in the leg — not in the chest or head.
“I know the man could have killed me if he wanted to,” Unger, now 57, told three members of the Louisiana Board of Pardons and Parole during the Nov. 16 hearing at Southeastern Louisiana University.
New state laws took effect Nov. 1 that give more people convicted of murder and serving life sentences a shot at parole, including some 300 “juvenile lifers” like Unger, who committed their crimes as teenagers. But just because they get a shot at parole, it doesn’t mean they will be set free.
Unger killed the Delgado security guard two weeks after running away from a rehabilitation center in Georgia for people with mental illness. He had been receiving in-patient treatment for several months after slitting his wrists at his grandparents’ house in New Orleans, court documents show. After failing out of the ninth grade three times, Unger left high school. His family tried to get him help. He didn’t want to listen to them.
There was no opposition to Unger’s parole request, neither from the victim’s family nor the Orleans Parish District Attorney’s Office. The same three members of the parole board who denied Humble’s request voted unanimously to release Unger.
Upon his release, Unger spent a short time in a transitional program in Baton Rouge and then moved to Georgia, where his siblings live.
As a condition of his parole, Unger is expected to enroll in an electrician training program and then work for his younger brother, who owns an electrical company. He lives with another brother and must submit to regular mental health evaluations.