Suspect in 1989 slaying arrested in Jamaica HOWARD COUNTY

July 29, 1993|By Staff Report

The search for a Baltimore man wanted in a 1989 Howard murder ended yesterday in Jamaica.

Police there arrested Kent Daniel Tillman around 2 p.m., said Andy Manning, spokesman for the Maryland Joint Violent Crimes Fugitive Task Force.

Mr. Tillman, 29, used to live on the 900 block of N. Belnord Ave., and was wanted for an apparent drug-related shooting of a couple in Columbia nearly four years ago.

Mr. Manning said the arrest came as a result of information from the Howard police, but had few other details. He said he did not know how Mr. Tillman was captured, nor when he would return to face charges.

"We won't know anything until our contacts in Miami talk with Jamaican authorities," he said.

Howard County Police Chief James Robey could not be reached for comment last night.

An arrest warrant was issued for Mr. Tillman in August 1989, after a Baltimore man with ties to a drug ring was gunned down in Owen Brown village about 12:30 a.m. Aug. 12.

The victim, Sherman J. Chenault, 26, was pulling into a parking space with his companion, Sharrell Y. Hudson of Essex, when the shots were fired, police said.

Mr. Chenault was struck several times in the head and died at the scene. Ms. Hudson was shot in the face, but survived and identified Mr. Tillman. At the time of his death, Mr. Chenault was a state parolee with a history of drug arrests. His younger brother, Stephen, had been indicted the year before in a major drug conspiracy with Maurice D. "Peanut" King, a convicted Baltimore drug kingpin.

Prior to the shooting, Mr. Tillman had at least one prior narcotics conviction, as well as an arrest on charges of assault with intent to murder, police said.

Mr. Tillman is one of about 300 fugitives arrested since the task force formed last September, Mr. Manning said. The task force includes Baltimore city and county police as well as the Maryland State Police and FBI.

The FBI was involved because Mr. Tillman was charged in a Sept. 11, 1989 federal warrant with unlawful flight to avoid prosecution.

Mr. Manning says yesterday's arrest sends a message to other fugitives: "You're just never safe."

Mr. Tillman's older brother, Milton, was sentenced to 27 months in prison this year for trying to bribe a member of the Baltimore zoning board to keep his nightclub, Odell's, open.

Odell's was closed in August 1992 when the zoning board turned down a request for the club to remain open as a dance hall. The decision ended a long legal battle with the city over zoning violations.

Odell's drew complaints from neighbors about several shootings that occurred near the North Avenue club and noisy crowds of young people lingering outside.

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