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Uptown, Edgewater, Rogers Park

Man Threw Naked Woman Out Of 5th Floor Window In Uptown, Killing Her, Prosecutors Say

Tyson Tillman admitted to fighting with the victim and said on a call in custody "I threw the bitch out the window," prosecutors said.

Colin Boyle/Block Club Chicago
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UPTOWN — An Uptown man was ordered held without bail Sunday after prosecutors said he threw a woman out of a fifth-story window of an Uptown apartment building last week, killing her, and admitted to the crime on a phone call while in custody. 

Tyson Tillman, 38, was charged Saturday with first-degree murder after Tabitha Tanner was found dead in an alley Thursday near the 4500 block of North Magnolia Avenue.

Tanner was killed Thursday at Tillman’s residence on Magnolia Avenue, with video cameras inside and outside the building capturing parts of the incident, prosecutors said.

Tillman arrived at the building at 10:09 p.m. Thursday, followed by his girlfriend about 30 minutes later, Assistant State’s Attorney James O’Connor said.

The girlfriend, who was not identified and is not the victim, paced the hallway for the next 10 minutes, according to videos. She was initially arrested, but has not been charged in the incident, O’Connor said.

Video from a camera in the alley showed a naked woman falling out a window at 10:59 p.m., according to O’Connor.

Videos from inside the apartment building then show Tillman in a red shirt leaving after 10:59 p.m., O’Connor said. A different video shows him in the same shirt in the alley, approaching the victim’s body and another video shows him re-enter the building at 11:11 p.m., the prosecutor said.

Detectives interviewed Tillman on the scene, O’Connor said. He initially denied any knowledge of the incident, then changed his story, O’Connor said.

“The defendant … then indicated that the victim had come to his apartment, and they got into a physical altercation, and she fell out of the window, and that her clothes were removed during the altercation,” O’Connor said.

While in custody, body camera footage captured Tillman admitting to the crime on the phone, saying “I threw the bitch out the window,” O’Connor said.

O’Connor said the medical examiner determined Tanner died from a fall from a height, and her death was ruled a homicide. Tanner had a broken tibia, abrasions to her body, and a laceration in her heart all caused by the fall, O’Connor said. 

The relationship between Tillman and Tanner was not immediately clear. 

Tillman’s attorney said he is a graduate of Collins High School and Lakeland College, and he is expecting a child soon. She questioned the prosecutors’ allegations and said there has not been enough investigation in the case.

“There’s no other witnesses to this event,” the attorney said. “There’s no actual video footage of the event itself. And as to the medical examiner’s reports … I would argue that, at this point, it is difficult to determine whether the injuries caused as a result of the fall were caused by a push or by an accidental fall.”

Judge Mary Marubio disagreed, saying there was significant evidence against Tillman and denied bail.

“Based on the violent nature of this offense, based on the callous manner it is alleged in which he admitted to this, I do find that there are no conditions I could impose to protect the community from further violent acts from Mr. Tillman,” Marubio said.

Tillman is due back in court Wednesday.

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