Metro-East News

Metro-east man gets 34 years for murder; victim hit with frying pan, VCR

George Tillman
George Tillman

A Belleville man was sentenced to 34 years in prison Thursday for his role in the death of his former co-worker, 45-year-old Roderick L. Taylor, who was shot and hit in the head with a frying pan and VCR during a robbery.

The defendant, George T. Tillman, was charged with first-degree murder and pleaded guilty in October.

Tillman, 32, admitted to playing a role in the Dec. 17, 2015, death of Taylor. The Illinois State Police said Taylor, who was from Collinsville, had been shot multiple times at the home of Ashly S. Bonner, 27, located in the 2600 block of Logan Street in Granite City.

Tillman was captured after a pursuit with a Brooklyn Police Department officer that evening. Police said Tillman fled as the officer attempted to make a traffic stop on Illinois Route 3 in St. Clair County. The 2006 maroon Cadillac that Tillman was driving crashed near a roundabout at St. Clair Avenue and Collinsville Road in East St. Louis. Tillman was taken to an area hospital after the crash, and his vehicle was towed. Police found Taylor’s body in the trunk of the car as police took inventory of the vehicle.

A police investigation showed that Tillman and Bonner lured Taylor to Bonner’s home in an attempt to rob him. Police said Taylor was shot by Tillman during the robbery and was hit several times in the head with a VCR and a frying pan. After the struggle, Taylor was put in the trunk of the vehicle. Police believe Taylor was still alive when he was placed in the trunk. Police said Taylor, Tillman and Bonner knew each other and worked at the same company.

Bonner pleaded guilty last month and received a 20-year prison sentence.

Madison County State’s Attorney Tom Gibbons said the case was prosecuted with the help of First Assistant State’s Attorney Jennifer Mudge and Assistant State’s Attorney Josh Jones of the Violent Crimes Unit. The Illinois State Police, the Madison County Sheriff’s Office and the Brooklyn Police Department investigated the killing.

“These heinous and egregious acts committed against Roderick Taylor were outrageous and indefensible,” Gibbons wrote in a news release. “This office has always and will continue to fight for the rights of victims and their families in order to make sure that those who commit such crimes will suffer the greatest consequences of their actions.”