Former pastor sentenced to life in prison

By CHRISTINE BOATWRIGHT / Staff Writer

COLUMBIANA – Former Vincent pastor Timothy Dane Tillman was sentenced to life in prison Aug. 28.

Tillman was convicted during a retrial June 22 for the murder of his wife, Janet Tillman.

Timothy Tillman.

Shelby County Assistant District Attorney Roger Hepburn called Tillman a “master manipulator.”

Additionally, Hepburn asked Circuit Judge Dan Reeves to suspend sentencing guidelines and sentence Tillman to life in prison. Hepburn said that since Tillman used a deadly weapon, the sentence could extend from 20 years to life in prison.

“He has no shred of remorse. He shows only the remorse of being caught, being arrested and being investigated in a case such as this,” Hepburn said. “The state feels certain that with the right circumstances, he would kill again without hesitation.”

Charles Harper, Janet Tillman’s father, addressed the court before the sentencing.

“Today, your honor, I can’t say enough to what I would like to say because you can tell I’m broke right now,” Harper said. “My life has been shortened, I feel, for the loss of our precious daughter.”

Tillman declined to address the court prior to his sentencing, other than to say he was filing a notice of appeal.

According to Shelby County Assistant District Attorney Alan Miller, the case will go to the court of criminal appeal.

According to earlier reports, Tillman shot his wife in their Vincent Home Oct. 26, 2005. He was tried first in October 2009. He was charged originally with murder and possession of a forged instrument, due to his possession of a $5,000 check endorsed by his wife. Tillman was tried for both charges, which the Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals ruled was inappropriate. He was later convicted of murder June 22 during a retrial.