Slaying suspect who fled U.S. is denied bail

September 29, 1993|By Alan J. Craver | Alan J. Craver,Staff Writer

A Baltimore man who eluded murder charges for four years by fleeing to Jamaica was denied bail following a hearing in Howard Circuit Court yesterday.

Kent Daniel Tillman, who was arrested in Jamaica two months ago, will remain in the county Detention Center without bail pending a Jan. 10 trial. He is charged in the August 1989 death of a Baltimore man in Columbia's Owen Brown village.

Roland Walker, a Baltimore attorney for Mr. Tillman, offered to put up three Baltimore properties owned by the Tillman family as part of the bond to obtain his client's release.

"When their homes are on the line . . . this defendant will be there -- no ifs, ands or buts," he said.

Senior Assistant State's Attorney Kate O'Donnell urged Judge James Dudley to withhold bail for Mr. Tillman, noting that he had fled the country to avoid arrest.

Ms. O'Donnell said the Tillman family failed to help authorities find the suspect and therefore could not be relied on to guarantee Mr. Tillman's court appearances.

"His family has been very much aware of the police's efforts to find him," Ms. O'Donnell said. "They have been no help in the apprehension of Kent Tillman."

Mr. Tillman, 29, of the 900 block of Belnord Ave., is the brother of Milton Tillman, who operated the controversial Odell's nightclub.

Milton Tillman, 36, was sentenced in April to 27 months in prison for trying to bribe a member of the Baltimore zoning board to keep his nightclub open despite several zoning violations.

Kent Tillman, who had been one of Maryland's 10 most wanted fugitives, is charged with first-degree murder, attempted murder, conspiracy to commit murder and a weapons charge. He could face a maximum sentence of life in prison.

bTC Mr. Tillman is charged in the slaying of Sherman Joseph Chenault, 26, of the 700 block of N. Patterson Park Ave., who was killed in a car parked in the 6600 block of Waning Moon Way in Columbia 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.

She told police that Mr. Tillman, a friend of Mr. Chenault, was a passenger in the back seat. The group had left a Baltimore County home earlier that night followed by a friend of Mr. Tillman's, Michael Butler of Woodlawn, she said.

Mr. Tillman instructed Mr. Chenault to park, then shot the couple, Ms. Hudson told police.

Butler, 31, is serving a five-year sentence after being convicted as an accessory after the fact to murder.

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