An Uptown man threw a naked woman to her death from his fifth-floor apartment window minutes after his girlfriend arrived at his home on Wednesday evening, prosecutors said.
“I threw the b*tch out the window,” Tyson Tillman said in a phone call from the police station, according to prosecutor James O’Connor, a comment allegedly captured on a Chicago police officer’s bodyworn camera.
O’Connor did not suggest a motive for the murder, nor did he know the nature of Tillman’s relationship with the victim, whom he identified as Tabitha Tanner.
Surveillance video showed Tillman arriving at his apartment building on the 4500 block of North Magnolia around 10:09 p.m. Wednesday and his girlfriend arriving at the building 38 minutes later, O’Connor said.
Doorbell cameras from Tillman’s neighbors showed his girlfriend pacing the hallway until at least 10:57 p.m., according to O’Connor.
At 10:59 p.m., an exterior camera recorded Tanner’s naked body falling to the ground in an alley behind the apartment building, he said.
Tillman, 38, was seen leaving his apartment in a red shirt moments after Tanner fell, and an exterior camera captured someone in a red shirt checking on her body at 11:03 p.m., according to O’Connor. Tillman re-entered the building at 11:11 p.m., he said.
Tanner’s body was discovered at 6:11 a.m. on Thursday, and she was pronounced dead at 6:30 a.m., according to the Cook County medical examiner’s office, which said she died from injuries sustained in a fall from a height, including a broken leg, facial injuries, and a lacerated heart.
When police interviewed Tillman at the scene, he initially denied knowing anything about the situation, O’Connor said. But Tillman later admitted that they were involved in a physical altercation in his apartment, O’Connor continued. Tillman allegedly told police that Tanner’s clothing came off during the fight, and she fell from the window.
But investigators took Tillman in for questioning, and an officer’s bodyworn camera allegedly recorded him saying in a phone call, “I threw the b*tch out the window.”
Tillman’s public defender said he lives alone and has a child on the way. She argued that it is too soon to know if Tanner was thrown from the window or if she perhaps jumped or accidentally fell.
Since 2003, Tillman has been sentenced to prison eight times, primarily for drug-related offenses, according to O’Connor. He is now charged with first-degree murder.
Tillman’s “callous manner” in referring to Tanner in the phone call was noted by Judge Mary Marubio, who ordered him held without bail.
A search of the Cook County medical examiner’s online records revealed eight other homicides in which the victim died due to a fall from a height, some of which involved victims who were escaping intentionally set fires and other factors. Tanner’s death is only the second apparent case of defenestration in the database, which dates to 2014.