EDWARDSVILLE — Madison County State’s Attorney Tom Gibbons filed murder charges Monday in connection with the death of 45-year-old Roderick L. Taylor of Collinsville, whose body was found in the trunk of a vehicle that crashed after a police chase last week.
At approximately 7 p.m. Dec. 17, a Brooklyn Police Department officer began a pursuit of the driver of a 2006 maroon Cadillac who fled after an attempted traffic stop on Illinois 3 in St. Clair County. The vehicle crashed near a roundabout at St. Clair Avenue and Collinsville Road in East St. Louis. The driver, George T. Tillman, 31, was taken to a hospital with injuries while his vehicle was towed. It was during the inventory of the vehicle that Taylor’s body was discovered in the vehicle’s trunk.
The investigation was led by Illinois State Police officers, who determined Taylor had been killed earlier that evening at a home in the 2600 block of Logan in Granite City. He was shot multiple times. Tillman, of Belleville, is facing three first degree murder charges, Class M felonies; one count of armed robbery, a Class X Felony; and one count of aggravated battery, a Class 3 felony.
The house was the residence of Ashly S. Bonner, 26, who is also facing the same charges. During the course of the investigation, authorities determined that Tillman and Bonner, who had a previous relationship, lured Taylor to Bonner’s home to rob him. It was during this robbery that Taylor was shot multiple times by Tillman before a subsequent struggle in which the victim was also hit several times in the head with a VCR and frying pan. Following the struggle, Taylor was placed in the trunk of the Cadillac. It is believed he was still alive at this time. All three individuals knew one another and worked together at the same company.
Gibbons thanked officers with the Illinois State Police, Madison County Sheriff’s Department, who also assisted with the investigation; and the Brooklyn Police Department for their work on the case.
“This appears to be a carefully calculated crime,” he said in a press release. “The victim died an unnecessary, violent death, at the hands of two people whom he shouldn’t have had any reason to believe would harm him.
“This lack of respect for human life is reprehensible and my office will work to ensure that the defendants are held accountable and punished severely for their crime,” he said.
Gibbons also offered his condolences to Taylor’s family.
“It’s heartbreaking for families to deal with the loss of a loved one at this time of year,” he said.
Maximum penalty for first degree murder is 20 to 60 years in prison; 6 to 30 years on the Class X felony and 2 to 5 years on the Class 3 felony. Tillman and Bonner are in custody at the Madison County Jail in Edwardsville, where they are being held without bond, set by Circuit Judge Richard Tognarelli.
These charges, as well as the statements made herein, are based upon probable cause. The defendant are presumed innocent unless proven guilty.