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Archive for Saturday, December 4, 2004

Area briefs

December 4, 2004

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Neighbor charged in 1987 rape, murder

Kansas City, Mo. -- The former next-door neighbor of an 88-year-old woman who was raped and killed 17 years ago has been indicted in the case by a Jackson County grand jury.

The indictment, released Friday, charges Marshall Tillman with first-degree murder, forcible rape and forcible sodomy in the 1987 killing of Edna Walton.

Tillman, 52, has been imprisoned in Kansas since shortly after the 1995 rape of a 12-year-old Leavenworth girl; he was convicted of that crime earlier this year.

After the conviction, his DNA was entered into a national database, which linked him to Walton's slaying.

Walton's daughter, Betty Phillips, of Topeka, Kan., said she remembered talking with Tillman's wife about her mother's slaying after it happened.

"To think the suspect is someone who lived next door and someone she was friendly with," Phillips said. "It totally blows me away."

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