SALISBURY, N.C. – The 2005 murder of a young woman sent shockwaves through this small southern community, but a massive blow to the victim’s loved ones followed.
Brittany Loritts was born in Forsyth County on May 7, 1987, to Rodrick Loritts and Angela Vontina Weeks. She grew up in Salisbury and graduated from North Rowan High School in May 2005. That summer, she got a job.
Loritts planned to attend Rowan-Cabarrus Community College in the fall and transfer to N.C. A&T State University to study education; she wanted to be a teacher.
Loritts ran track in high school and hoped to make the college team. She volunteered with the American Red Cross and was active in the youth choir & Junior Ushers Board at Henderson Grove Baptist Church in Rowan County. She was dating a student at Livingston College, and everything in her life seemed ideal.
But what happens behind closed doors is often not revealed until after a horrific event.
Loritts’ parents were married to other people, and she resided with her mother and stepfather, Reginald Weeks, Jr., at 916 Scales Street.
Loritts has a half-sister, Asti Loritts. The girls were close and rode horses, go-carts, and four-wheelers when they visited their dad on Father’s Day on June 19, 2005. Asti Loritts, then 15, lived with her mother and stepfather. She last spoke to Loritts on July 10, 2005, and the sisters discussed when they would next visit their father.
Asti Loritts never saw her sister alive again.
On July 11, 2005. Weeks, 46, told police he found Loritts bleeding on her bed at 4:15 p.m. when he and his father stopped by the house to retrieve documents he needed for work. He claimed he began screaming and cradling her. News reports say his father, Reginald Weeks, Sr., called 911. However, the 911 call was played on Investigation Discovery’s “Nightmare Next Door” in 2011, and the caller sounded like a female.
“She’s not breathing. We don’t know what to do. She’s been stabbed.”
The Weeks men attempted CPR until help arrived. Officer Brent Hall of the Salisbury Police Department arrived at the scene. EMS was already there, and a couple of people were standing outside. Hall entered the home and went to Loritts’ front right bedroom, and two EMS workers were already in the room. The teen was already dead.
Hall noticed blood around her neck but “didn’t know if it had come up from somewhere else,” he said on the show. He asked the EMS workers where she had been stabbed, and they told him her neck.
Hall now had a homicide and called for investigators. S.A. Steven Holmes from N.C. State Bureau of Investigation and a few other investigators arrived on the scene. There were several bystanders and a few distraught family members.
As investigators approached the front door, they found no signs of forced entry. It appeared that someone had ransacked the house inside.
The team made their way to Loritts’ bedroom. She was lying dead on the floor next to her bed with visible ligature marks circling her neck. Holmes found a wire hanger that could have made the marks.
Loritts was fully clothed in a pajama top and pants and wore underwear underneath the bottoms; there were no obvious signs of rape, and the crime did not appear to be sexually motivated.
At first, Holmes thought the crime was a robbery gone wrong until he noticed nothing appeared to be taken from the home. A computer was sitting on a stand with the doors wide open. The Weeks’ credit cards and jewelry sat untouched in their bedroom. Holmes said the ransacked home appeared as if “someone was looking for something.”
Police did not find a weapon during the initial search. The Charlotte Observer reported that the investigators confiscated an answering machine, bedding, a cell phone, checkbooks, a coat hanger, a computer, a jewelry case, and other things.
Investigators also collected blood, fibers, fingerprints, and hair from Loritts’ bedroom.
Less than 24 hours after Loritt’s murder, Holmes and Salisbury police Detective J.D. Barber interviewed Weeks and Loritts’ mother, Angela Weeks.
Angela Weeks was at work from 7 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. and arrived home around 4 p.m. Her husband gave one of the most detailed accounts the investigators had ever heard.
Weeks said he left home around 7 a.m. and went straight to a job site on Bourbon Street. Afterward, he drove to another job site on Pinewood Avenue, where he repaired sheetrock in a bathroom. Weeks then went to a mechanic shop before running one final errand.
Weeks was supposed to meet with a woman named Amanda Scott, who wanted some work done on her home, around 4 p.m. To prepare, Weeks and his father, Reginald Weeks, Sr., went to his house to retrieve proposal documents to meet with Scott.
When he entered the home, Weeks noticed the doors open on the computer stand and called for Loritts. When she did not answer, he went to her bedroom and saw her lying on her bed. Weeks tried waking her up and saw a hole in her neck. He grabbed her and started screaming and cradling her.
Sitting in the truck outside, Weeks’ father heard his son’s screams and ran inside. Shortly after, Angela Weeks returned home from work.
Weeks’ alibi seemed solid, and he initially cooperated with the police, offering to take a polygraph.
Investigators questioned Rodrick Loritts but ruled him out when they learned he had been out of town at the time of the murder.
Detectives canvassed the neighborhood to see if anyone had seen or heard anything unusual throughout the day on July 11, 2005. Some said they saw a man running between houses, but no one got a good look at him. However, there were no reported burglaries or sexual assaults.
Meanwhile, the autopsy showed Loritts was strangled with a coat hanger and knocked unconscious, but the deep stab wound to her neck killed her.
Loritts’ had no defensive wounds, and seminal fluid was not detected at the crime scene or on her body. She had an abrasion on her genitals; however, it could have been a result of consensual sex, according to the medical examiner. That led police to believe Loritts had participated in kinky sex involving strangulation and her death was accidental. The killer panicked and staged the crime scene.
Police believed Loritts knew her killer and that only one person was involved.
Authorities then dove into Loritts’ love life and discovered she had been seeing a young man named Terry. However, they interviewed him, and he immediately cooperated. Terry said he had dated Loritts’ for the past several months, but he had not seen her for two weeks; her family had been on vacation. Investigators said he was genuinely upset over Loritts’ death.
Detectives learned through Angela Weeks that Loritts had an abortion five years before her death. They asked her if she knew the baby’s father, but when they pressed her, she shut down, Holmes said. The rumor mill suggested the killer was Loritts’ ex-boyfriend Jerome Buckler, a troublemaker with a criminal record. When questioned by police, Buckler became very emotional and cried. He also agreed to take a polygraph test and volunteered hair and blood samples.
Investigators then focused on Loritts’ mother and stepfather. They had viewed TV footage of the home on the day of the murder and saw Weeks and Loritts’ mother consoling each other. Something significant stood out to the detectives. They noticed Weeks had no blood on his shirt. Blood would have been on his shirt if he had cradled Loritts as he said.
Detectives then went back and retraced Weeks’ steps to support his alibi. Weeks said he had left home at 7 a.m., went straight to the job site, and did not return home all day. But two people saw him turn around and head back home shortly after he left. Witnesses also observed Weeks back home at lunchtime by a postal worker who said Weeks was visibly upset, shaking, and did not know what he was doing, she said.
Weeks also told investigators at the first interview that he had stopped at a neighbor’s home between 7 a.m. and 7:30 a.m. on July 11, 2005. When police questioned the neighbor, they learned Weeks had stopped by later, around 11 a.m.
Detectives confronted Weeks, and he claimed he returned home around that time to get the proposal papers. Phone records revealed he had never called Amanda Scott, and police never found any evidence she even existed.
Investigators were sure Weeks killed Loritts, but they initially did not know the motive. Asti Loritts said Loritts could not stand Weeks because he was very controlling and would not let her participate in anything outside the home without him present.
Rodrick Loritts said on “Nightmare Next Door” that on the day of his daughter’s murder, he and Weeks had a strange conversation “out of the blue.” Weeks told him that his daughter had “died a peaceful death.”
Loritts mentioned to some friends that she was scared of her stepfather and told one that he had raped her. But when the friend became upset and threatened to call the police, Loritts quickly said she was kidding and begged the friend not to say anything.
Investigators pondered the lack of DNA at the crime scene, no defense wounds on Loritts’ body, and no signs of a struggle. They wondered: did the killer stage the sexual assault, too? Blunt force trauma with an object caused the abrasion found on Loritts’ genitals, not a man’s penis, Holmes said.
Police did not know whether the murder was premeditated or an argument that went too far. But they believed Loritts’ relationship with her stepfather was guarded and unhealthy.
Weeks and Loritts’ mother lawyered up and refused to provide police with blood and hair samples until a judge ordered them to do it.
Weeks’ father also hired a lawyer, claiming police were harassing him at his construction business after he had already told them everything he knew.
On Aug. 12, 2005, investigators obtained a search warrant and arrested Weeks, charging him with first-degree murder. Loritts’ mother stood by Weeks through it all.
Weeks had no prior criminal record other than traffic violations. He worked in his father’s construction business and had been working at a home on Pinewood Avenue. A person who lived on Pinewood Avenue told the police Weeks had borrowed matches on the morning of Loritts’ murder. Another man caught Weeks returning a gasoline can he borrowed without permission. The man said Weeks told him he took the gas “because he had to burn something.” Police searched near the construction site and found a burned off-white towel.
Angela Weeks told the police they had several off-white towels. She had been married to Weeks for five years and had stayed with his parents since his arrest.
Holmes stated a theory of Loritt’s murder in “Nightmare Next Door,” and I’m not sure I buy it.
Investigators believe that Loritts and her stepfather got into a heated argument on the morning of her death, and Weeks snapped. He forced her onto the bed and got on top of her. He then tried to control her by strangling her with the coat hanger. But Loritts lost consciousness, and Weeks panicked and finished the job. Then, he staged the crime scene, hitting her genitals with an object. Then, he ransacked Loritts’ room and the rest of the house to make the crime look like a robbery gone wrong.
Before the show’s airing, Barber told the Salisbury Post that Weeks told him this account of what happened that day. Oddly, Barber did not mention that on the show. Instead, he theorized what happened to Loritts. 🤷 Barber also stated that Weeks admitted to having sex with Loritts after the investigation. Again, he did not mention this on the show.
A couple of days after Weeks’ arrest, at a preliminary hearing, a judge told Weeks he was eligible for the death penalty.
Five young women – five friends and one relative – came to court because they wanted Weeks to know they loved and supported Loritts. After the judge mentioned the death penalty, the loved ones applauded.
“Be quiet,” District Judge Kevin Eddinger said. “There will be no further outbursts. None.”
In February 2006, a Superior Court judge increased the bond to $500,000. Weeks had been released earlier on a $350,000 bond. Police later re-arrested him on the rape charge, and he was rereleased on Feb. 2, 2006, on the $500,000 bond.
The family had hoped the judge would deny the bond.
In 2007, Weeks entered an Alford plea to the reduced charges of second-degree murder and second-degree rape.
According to Cornell University Law School, “An Alford plea, also known as a ‘best-interests plea,’ registers a formal admission of guilt towards charges in criminal court while the defendant simultaneously expresses their innocence toward those same charges.”
Kenerly said he “offered the plea deal because Angela Weeks was considered a key witness but was not cooperating with prosecutors,” The Charlotte Observer reported.
Officials consolidated the rape charge with the murder charge, and Weeks was sentenced to about nine years, a slap on the wrist. He could have served only a maximum sentence of 11 years and eight months.
Weeks was released from prison on Jan. 20, 2015, and given probation after reaching the plea agreement. Some reports say he was released in March 2015.
Yes, this man stabbed a teenager and barely served any prison time. NO JUSTICE.
A year after his release, police arrested Weeks again on a parole violation.
According to a spokesman for the N.C. Department of Public Safety, Weeks is a sex offender and is subject to a lifetime of satellite monitoring. His monitoring device showed he was on the premises of a school earlier in the week, which was a violation, said Keith Acree.Shavonne Potts, Salisbury Post, Jan. 12, 2016
It is unclear what Weeks is up to nowadays, but Whitepages.com shows a current address of 124 Harrel St., Salisbury. The website also indicates Angela Weeks living in Archdale, 38 miles northeast of Salisbury.
Investigation Discovery also featured Loritts’ case on “Redrum.”
True Crime Diva’s Thoughts
I wanted to write about Brittany because it’s a travesty that this man was released and served virtually no prison time for murdering this beautiful young woman, who undoubtedly would have done great things with her life.
Weeks may not have had a criminal background and was an outstanding citizen, but so was Dennis Rader, BTK Killer. Being a pillar of the community has nothing to do with being a good person. We have sinister ministers and Boy Scout leaders who have committed significant crimes.
Rodrick Loritts said on the show that he would never have guessed that Weeks could kill his daughter. But he was a wolf in sheep’s clothing.
Brittany planned to move out, attend college, and make her own decisions. Weeks did not like that at all. I do agree with the investigators that they argued that morning. Weeks left the house, contemplated something, then turned around and returned.
I don’t believe Weeks staged her genitals to look like a rape; he raped her, or they had consensual sex, and Weeks was aggressive. It’s possible to leave no DNA behind, especially if he used a condom and shaved his genitals. There have been many unsolved murders involving rape where the killer left no DNA behind.
I believe he made Brittany put her clothes back on, and they argued again. Maybe she threatened to expose his shit. Asti Loritts stated on the show that Loritts never told her why she was so angry at Weeks. I believe he had been raping Brittany for a while and became obsessed with her. That explains the reason to control her and not allow her to do anything without him present.
Brittany and Weeks had more than a “guarded and unhealthy” relationship. Week’s feelings were sick and twisted. He was 46 years old, for Christ’s sake.
And Angela Weeks. Don’t even get me started on that woman.
“Precious memories remain with her mother and stepfather, Angela and Reginald Weeks Jr.” That is what Angela put in Brittany’s obituary.
WTF? She knew exactly what happened to her daughter; you know she did, and she took that vermin’s side over her own daughter.
Angela Weeks has no business calling herself a mother. No mother would put her child through what Brittany endured, which is heartbreaking. Brittany was an amazing, gorgeous young woman. I have no doubt she would have done great things with her life had she been given the opportunity.
I wouldn’t be surprised if the freak Weeks raped and killed again. He got away with it once already. I have no idea if he and Angela are together, but it would not surprise me.
Only local media reported on Brittany’s murder during 2005 and 2006. From what I can gather, the case only went national when ID aired the two shows in 2011 and 2014.