Crime scene description marks second day of murder trial

Published 3:51 pm Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Description of a frantic, bloody crime scene defined the second day of hearings in the murder trial of a former Vincent pastor Oct. 20.

A few state-called witnesses described a grisly scene at Timothy Tillman’s house on Carr Drive shortly after the suspect’s wife, Janet, was shot with a shotgun at the house Oct. 26, 2005.

Timothy Tillman, the former pastor of the Revival Church in Vincent, faces murder charges related to the death.

At about 6:30 p.m. the night of the shooting, the couple’s two daughters arrived at the church and notified church personnel of the shooting, according to Michael Andrews, who was the church’s associate pastor in 2005. Andrews said he called 911 after learning of the shooting, and rushed to the house.

When he arrived at the house, Andrews said he entered the Tillman’s bedroom and found Timothy Tillman struggling to stop his wife’s bleeding.

“I saw Janet on the floor, and Tim was behind her with a pillow trying to stop the bleeding,” Andrews said, noting Janet Tillman was still alive when he arrived. “He (Timothy) said something like ‘oh my God, I’ve shot my wife.’”

Shortly after Andrews arrived, Vincent police officers walked into the house and escorted Timothy Tillman to the other side of the house, said Andrews.

“When a rescue person came into the garage and said she had died, Tim kind of lost it,” Andrews said, noting Timothy Tillman had no blood on his clothes after the shooting. “We had to kind of restrain him. He said he wanted to go back into the house, but we couldn’t let him.”

One of the first officers to arrive on the scene was Otis Carding, who was a Vincent police officer when the shooting occurred. Carding said when he entered the house, he discovered two shotguns lying on the floor outside the Tillman’s bedroom.

The officer ejected a shell from one of the shotguns “for officer safety and the safety of everyone else,” and placed the shotguns back in the hallway for crime scene investigators, he said.

Clerks from the Shelby and St. Clair county probate courts also revealed Timothy Tillman changed his name to Timothy Patrick McNally for about four months, and had changed it back to Timothy Tillman six days before his wife’s death.

Several other state and defense-called witnesses are scheduled to testify in the trial throughout the week. Testimony likely will conclude Friday or Monday, attorneys said.

The trial was scheduled to resume at 9 a.m. Oct. 21.