Man charged Monday in downtown stabbing

2014-07-14T14:36:00Z 2014-07-18T14:44:04Z Man charged Monday in downtown stabbingBy EDDIE GREGG egregg@billingsgazette.com The Billings Gazette

A man who police said stabbed a woman three times downtown early Saturday made an initial court appearance Monday.

Prosecutors have charged Johnny Henry Tillman, 51, with felony counts of aggravated assault and tampering with or fabricating evidence. The second charge alleges he hid whatever weapon was used.

According to prosecutors, both Tillman and the victim are transients and had been drinking together prior to the attack.

Police arrested Tillman after responding at about 3 a.m. Saturday to a reported stabbing on Montana Avenue.

A man reported being parked in the alley behind the Ciao Mambo restaurant, 2301 Montana Ave., waiting for his wife, the victim. He said she came to the vehicle with clothes soaked in blood and said she had been stabbed, according to charging documents.

Medical personnel took the 42-year-old woman, who suffered stab wounds to her back, right arm and neck, to Billings Clinic, court records say.

Billings Police Chief Rich St. John said Monday the woman is in stable condition.

The woman told police she did not know her attacker by name, but she described him as a man with white hair, glasses, a red jacket and baseball cap.

Later, at Billings Clinic, she told police she had met with Tillman earlier in the evening and that he had bought a pint of whiskey for them to share. The woman reported they drank the whiskey near a loading dock in an alley at the 2200 block of Montana Avenue.

The woman said she fell asleep and then woke up alone. Not feeling safe, she started to walk away but ended up back near the loading dock, court records say.

The woman told police she saw Tillman there, and that he was facing a building and yelling at it. She turned around and started walking away when Tillman attacked her from behind, she said.

“It was not until she walked away that she noticed large amounts of blood on her clothing,” charging documents state.

Police found Tillman about two blocks away and arrested him. He had blood on his pants and hands, police said.

Officers also reported that he was drunk and uncooperative, and that he was about a block from a blood trail that had been left by the alleged victim.

Police searched the area, but did not find a weapon, court records say.

Justice Court Judge David A. Carter set Tillman’s bond at $50,000 and ordered him to appear in District Court on Friday.

A prosecutor said Tillman has an extensive misdemeanor history that includes theft, multiple assaults and other charges.

Copyright 2014 The Billings Gazette. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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