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Atlanta Strip Club DJ Hired His Best Friend To Shoot And Kill His Wife In Their Home
Was a 30-year-old Atlanta mom’s execution tied to another area murder? Detectives find out the unsettling answer.
It appeared to be a robbery gone fatally wrong. But Atlanta investigators dug deep for the truth.
On November 23, 2014, Tiffany Pugh, 30, was found shot to death in her East Point home around 6 a.m. by her husband Andre Pugh, who was also known as DJ Awesome.
One of the couple’s small children was straddling her chest “trying to wake her up” when first responders arrived, according to “The Real Murders of Atlanta,” airing Fridays at 9/8c on Oxygen.
Tiffany, whose career was on the rise at Delta Airlines, had a gunshot wound to her eye and to her torso. A third gunshot had gone into a wall.
The medical examiner determined that Tiffany had died moments before the police arrived. Stippling around the wounds indicated that the shots were fired at close range.
No shell casings were found at the crime scene but investigators found that a window screen in a downstairs room had been cut, indicating that it was the entry point for the shooter. Police initially thought the murder was a home invasion gone wrong.
However, they discovered that no valuables had been taken. The person went “straight to Tiffany's room, shoot her and then leave,” said Pat Dutcher, Chief Deputy District Attorney for Fulton County.
The crime scene unit was unable to collect fingerprints and surveillance cameras in the home didn’t capture any useful evidence. Fortunately, a security camera from a nearby residence recorded images of the Pugh home, revealing that a car was had circled the block around 4:45 a.m. It was also seen parked in front of the home for a period of time, according to Simone Hylton, Deputy District Attorney for Fulton County. The timing matched up with the time of the murder.
Although footage didn’t capture the image of an individual or a license plate, it revealed that the car was black and that the vehicle had a light out on the driver’s side.
Detectives turned to the victim's husband Andre for more information. He explained that he had gotten a call between 5:30 and 5:45 a.m. informing him that an alarm had gone off at his home. He said he asked if the police had been notified.
“At that point I called my wife,” he told police in a recorded interview. “Called three times and she didn’t answer. This is painful. This is hurtful.”
Andre claimed he was working at Club Onyx the night Tiffany was killed, as confirmed by the club manager, who added that a Club Onyx deejay had been killed a few months earlier. The victim, DJ Nando, was prominent in Atlanta.
Detectives looked at parallels between the two cases. Both Tiffany and DJ Nando had been shot in the head, had links to Club Onyx, as well as ties to Andre Pugh.
But Nando was shot after getting out of his car. A masked man came up and shot him right in his driveway, said Dutcher.
Likewise, investigators initially suspected the murder was tied to a robbery but Nando had cash and jewelry on him. “It wasn’t a robbery,” said MZ Shyneka, radio host of Yung Joc & The Streetz. “It was an ambush. It was a hit.”
In the end, investigators were unable to tie the deejay’s death to Tiffany’s murder, according to “The Real Murders of Atlanta.”
Instead, investigators focused on Delta Airlines, hoping that Tiffany’s colleagues could provide a lead. Through their interviews, detectives determined that Tiffany was a career-oriented mother without any enemies.
But close friends and coworkers said that Tiffany had serious marital problems. Just before she was murdered, Tiffany was preparing to divorce him and move on with her life, according to “The Real Murders of Atlanta.”
Detectives were surprised because Andre had given no indication of any issues without the marriage. His omission raised a red flag.
Detectives brought Andre back in for questioning about his marriage. Andre finally admitted they had problems and they were trying to work them out. But as more inconsistencies piled up, police got more suspicious. They secured a warrant for his cell phone.
The phone records revealed a deep fracture in the marriage. “He was kind of begging her not to leave him,” according to detectives.
But at the same time, he was in contact with other women arranging sexual encounters when Tiffany was out of town. “He was sexting them and exchanging lewd photographs,” said Dutcher.
Investigators dove into the couple’s financial records in search of a possible lead. They determined that Tiffany was the major breadwinner in the family.
“When Tiffany was going to move out, Andre was trying to figure out how he could switch the mortgage into his name,” according to investigators. “But the bank wouldn’t do it because he didn't have credit.”
Andre was determined to hold onto his house, which was a status symbol, giving detectives a potential financial motive. Andre had an alibi for his whereabouts at the time of the murder, but someone could have pulled the trigger for him.
Investigators analyzed Andre’s call records. They found that he was speaking with his best friend Adrian Harley moments before Tiffany’s murder, according to East Point Police Department Captain Allyn Glover. When detectives questioned Harley about where he was on the night of the murder, he gave various locations and then turned combative when investigators asked for his cell phone.
Harley’s cell phone records revealed that he was near the Pugh home at the time Tiffany was murdered. When they searched Harley’s car, a black vehicle, they found that it had a light out on the driver’s side.
Andre Pugh was the suspect for orchestrating the murders. Harley, who’d been a pallbearer at Tiffany’s funeral, was the suspect for pulling the trigger. On December 5, 2014, both men were arrested at Club Onyx.
Andre denied any wrongdoing, and then said that Harley had confessed to him about the crime. “Andre told police that Tiffany owed Adrian some money,” said Dutcher. “That’s why Adrian had murdered her.”
When investigators questioned Harley, he immediately asked for a lawyer, putting an end to the interview.
In September 2018, Andre Pugh, then 38, went on trial for the murder of his wife and was convicted. He was sentenced to life in prison.
In October 2022, Harley was convicted and sentenced to life in prison.
To learn more about the case, watch “The Real Murders of Atlanta,” airing Fridays at 9/8c on Oxygen.