Man charged in 1989 slaying is back in Md.

August 27, 1993|By Ed Heard | Ed Heard,Staff Writer

Kent Daniel Tillman, who had eluded law officials for four years, was back in Maryland yesterday, held without bail on several charges, including first-degree murder, at the Howard County Detention Center.

At a bail review hearing yesterday morning, Howard County District Judge Russell Sadler denied the former fugitive bail, acknowledging the concerns of prosecutors who say Mr. Tillman is dangerous to society and would try to flee again if released.

"The fact that he fled all the way to Jamaica points to the fact that he was very desperate not to get caught," said Andrew Manning, an FBI spokesman.

Mr. Tillman, 29, formerly of the 900 block of Belnord Ave., Baltimore, was sought in the execution-style slaying of a Baltimore man and the wounding of his companion in a car parked in the 6600 block of Waning Moon Way in Owen Brown in August 1989.

Mr. Tillman fled to Jamaica after the incident, police said. Tips from Howard County police to the Maryland Joint Violent Crimes Fugitive Task Force this summer led to Mr. Tillman's arrest by Jamaican authorities on July 29 in Kingston.

The task force is made up of officials from Baltimore, Baltimore County, the Maryland State Police and the FBI. Howard County officers have been working the case with the task force, which has arrested more than 300 fugitives since it was formed in September.

Jamaican officers turned Mr. Tillman over to state police and Howard County officers at Baltimore-Washington International Airport shortly after 7 p.m. Wednesday.

He faces charges of first-degree murder, for which he could receive life imprisonment or the death penalty; and attempted murder, which carries a maximum 30-year penalty, Judge Sadler said. Mr. Tillman also is charged with conspiracy to commit murder.

Mr. Tillman is accused of shooting Sherman Joseph Chenault, 26, of the 700 block of N. Patterson Park Ave. twice at close range shortly after midnight on Aug. 12, 1989.

Mr. Chenault's girlfriend, Sharrell Yvette Hudson, 25, also of Baltimore, was shot in the left side of the jaw, police said. She was flown to the Maryland Shock Trauma Center.

She later told police that Mr. Tillman, a friend of Mr. Chenault's, was a passenger in the back seat of their 1984 Buick Riviera. The three left a residence in Baltimore County, she said, while a friend of Mr. Tillman's, Michael Butler, followed them in a Toyota Celica.

Police said Mr. Chenault had ties to convicted drug kingpin Maurice "Peanut" King, who masterminded a heroin ring in East Baltimore before he was arrested in 1982.

Soon after Mr. Tillman instructed Mr. Chenault to park in a space on Waning Moon Way, the couple were shot, Ms. Hudson told police. Mr. Tillman drove away with Butler in the other car, she said.

Butler, 31, of Woodlawn in Baltimore County was arrested and charged with conspiracy to commit murder and other related charges.

On Sept. 12, 1989, a jury found Butler guilty of being an accessory after the fact to the murder and sentenced him to five years in prison.

Police did not say how long Mr. Tillman had been in Jamaica. Soon after he fled four years ago, his name was placed on the Maryland's 10 Most Wanted Fugitives list.

Mr. Tillman initially was denied bail by a court commissioner Wednesday. He requested a preliminary hearing yesterday after saying he would hire his own lawyer.

Yesterday, he told the judge that he was unemployed and that he was on parole or probation for possession of cocaine. Mr. Tillman turned down the judge's offer to let him comment on his bail status.

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