Scott Pettigrew: Where is Anita Cowen’s Killer Now?

The episode titled ‘Housemate From Hell’ of Netflix’s ‘Worst Roommate Ever’ takes the viewers back to the horrific 2016 murder case of Anita Mimie Cowen, who never imagined that giving her room for rent to her coworker and friend, Scott Pettigrew would end up being a deadly mistake. Apart from providing critical details of the murder, including the investigation and conviction, the episode also features exclusive interviews with the victim’s loved ones who talk about Anita and how her demise affected them from their experience and perspective. Moreover, the history of Scott Pettigrew and his possible motive for killing his landlord raises many eyebrows and questions.

Scott Pettigrew Had a Notorious History With His Previous Roommate

In the spring of 2016, Scott Edmund Pettigrew had just been evicted by his landlord due to an altercation with a neighbor when his coworker, Anita Mimie Cowen, offered to rent him a room at her house in the 69000 block of Heritage Court in Cathedral City, California. However, before ending up there, in his 20s, he began dating a guy named Rob Salcedo and stayed in a relationship with him for 12 long years until 2002, when they decided to go their separate ways. In 2012, his roommate, Julie Russell, allegedly went through a horrific experience of staying with him as she was exhausted by how badly he maintained his room and the rest of the house.

Years later, Anita’s friendly favor also turned into something dangerous and fatal for the 66-year-old woman in a matter of a few months. After the first month itself, Scott reportedly stopped paying the rent and began keeping the house quite messy. For instance, he allegedly threw trash in the kitchen sink, allowed his dogs to defecate in the entire house, stole some of the pieces of her silverware, refused to clean up after vomiting in the bathroom, and poured water over her electrical appliances. Apart from causing damage to the house, Scott also threatened to harm the landlord, terrorizing her in her own house. When his anger had gotten to the point of concern, on June 9, 2016, she requested a protection order against him and requested to get him evicted from her property as soon as possible.

Anita Filed a Restraining Order Against Scott Pettigrew

The next day, her request was granted, as the court ordered Scott to maintain a five-yard distance from her and move his dogs out of the house. However, since there were no signs of assault, the judge did not order Scott to move out of the house. Just a few days later, this decision turned out to be deadly for Anita. On June 14, 2016, as the officers arrived at her residence and served Scott the restraining order, he acknowledged it and went on about his day. A few hours later, while Anita was on a call with her son, Steven, a heated argument ignited between her and Scott. Steven could hear a lot of yelling and glass shattering in the background. Concerned about her safety, he suggested his mother turn on her audio recorder while he and his wife, Cindy, came over to the house.

Anita Cowen

Meanwhile, Cindy requested the police to perform a welfare check on her property out of concern. When the police officers arrived at Anita’s house, they found her body floating in the pool while Scott was found lying naked in his bedroom, with scratches visible all across his body. Upon taping the crime scene, the authorities handcuffed Scott Pettigrew and arrested him for murdering his landlord, Anita Mimie Cowen. After the interrogation, he straight away asked for the death penalty for himself. The investigators also came across the digital audio recorded on the floor, which turned out to be one of the key pieces of evidence that sealed Scott’s fate.

Scott Pettigrew is Incarcerated in a California Prison

In August 2019, Scott Edmund Pettigrew pleaded not guilty when he was brought to trial for the first-degree murder of Anita Mimie Cowen over three years after his arrest. The defense presented the court with toxicology reports that stated Scott was seemingly drunk, leading to an “immensely impaired” judgment and emotional state on the night of June 14, 2016. It was presented as an argument to the assertion of the prosecutors that the murder was premeditated. The latter team claimed that Scott was engaged in an argument with Anita, which commenced in the kitchen and got heated soon and turned physical as it “extend(ed) back into the backyard area.”

The prosecutors also highlighted that Anita reportedly received death threats from Scott not once but several times in the past. Furthermore, the two instances when Scott tried to take his life were posed by the defense as proof of guilt. A recording between Anita and Scott, which the authorities believed to be from the night of the murder, was played at the preliminary hearing. While the prosecutors believed it was a planned attack, the defense team tried their best to establish it wasn’t a case of premeditation.

In the end, the jury deliberated over all the pieces of evidence submitted by both parties and passed a guilty verdict for Scott. He was ultimately convicted of first-degree murder, elder abuse, and violating a protective order. For the murder of his 66-year-old landlord, Anita Cowen, Scott Pettigrew was sentenced to 25 years to life in prison in November and was placed behind bars in California State Prison in Corcoran. In March 2021, Scott filed an appeal in the court challenging the first-degree murder conviction, which was denied, and the verdict was upheld. As of today, Scott is being held behind bars at Substance Abuse Treatment Facility and State Prison at 900 Quebec Avenue in Corcoran, California.

Read More: Darrell Hatfield: Where is Anita Cowen’s Ex-Roommate Now?