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Murder Charges Filed In Hit-Run Death

Murder Charges Filed In Hit-Run Death
Chicago Tribune
January 12, 1989

Credit to Stacy McArdle of hauntedpages.com for sending in the newspaper article.

Police documentation and photographs courtesy of Pete Crapia of Illinois.

NOTATION: This incident was followed up with the death of Martin Myers occurring at Bachelors Grove cemetery.

What first appeared to be a hit-and-run accident ended up being a murder, Hickory Hills police said Wednesday.

Police on Wednesday arrested a Midlothian man who they said deliberately ran down a man he believed was a rival for his ex-girlfriend's affections.

Martin H. Myers, 43, of 14251 S. Central Ave., pleaded not guilty in the Chicago Ridge branch of Cook County Circuit Court to the charge of murdering Mark Lee Tilton, 31, who police said lived out of his truck.

Myers was being held in Cook County Jail in lieu of $500,000 bond. Judge Richard LaCien set a preliminary hearing for Tuesday.

Authorities said Myers believed that Tilton had been dating Myers' ex- girlfriend, and when he came across Tilton ''by chance,'' walking alone in the 8300 block of South Kean Avenue late Saturday afternoon, decided to kill him.

Myers, driving a utility truck, drove past Tilton, turned around, sped up and hit him head-on, authorities alleged.

Two companions in Myers' truck were not charged.

Tilton was walking along the roadside because his truck had broken down in Chicago, police said. They said they weren't sure what he was doing in the area. Tilton had gotten off work at about 11:30 a.m. from his job at a Chicago company that refurbishes locomotive engines.

Tilton's frozen body wasn't discovered until Monday morning, when a man walking his dog found it in a ditch along the road.

An autopsy by the Cook County medical examiner's office listed the cause of death as multiple injuries caused by a motor vehicle. Police said they found glass and other evidence of a hit-and-run accident at the scene.

Police would not say what led them to Myers, but Hickory Hills Police Chief Peter Hurst said that when officers went to Myers' home Tuesday, they found damage to his truck ''consistent'' with Tilton's injuries and other evidence.

The following was extracted from original police documentation

Official Statement

Given by: John *********
Taken: January 10, 1989 at 9:30 P.M.
At: Hickory Hills Police Department
Present: Detective Michael Tardi & Cpl. Charles Forsythe & A.S.A. David J. O'Conner

This statement taken regarding the investigation of the death of Mark Tilton which occurred on January 7, 1989 at approximately 4:15 P.M. at 83rd and Kean Ave.

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Having been previously given my Constitutional Rights by the police officers and later given those same rights by the Assistant State's Attorney and having read and signed the above waiver, I wish to waive those rights and give a voluntary statement at this time. I understand that the Assistant State's Attorney is an attorney working with the police and not my attorney. I also have had an opportunity to speak with attorney John Duda during the course of my interview and still wish to provide the following summarized non-verbatim (subject to verbatim quotes) statement. I further understand that I am not currently under arrest for any of the events that occurred on January 7, 1989 or thereafter, I only wish to tell "the truth because I'm tired of blocking it out of my mind."

I've known Marty Myers for about 5 or 6 years and we're good friends. Marty has been going out with Kim ****** for around 5 years. For the past 4-6 months they (Marty + Kim) have been in the process of breaking up. It seems that they keep splitting up and then getting back together. Marty didn't like when Kim was with any other guy. He did crazy stuff in the past like cut the tires of other people that were supposedly seeing Kim.

In the middle of December I talked with Marty on the phone and he told me about going to Kim's house and seeing some guy there. Marty seemed kind of mad but just made a few comments and then that was it.

I was with Marty on January 1, 1989 at approximately 7:00 p.m. We were at the "Grove 5" which is a bar at about 82nd and Kean Ave. We were having some drinks and Marty was getting pretty drunk when this guy walked in and Marty said, "That's him, that's the guy from Kim's" Marty then gets up and goes over and talks to this guy who I later find out his name is Mark Tilton but Marty calls him "the wino." They talk for a few minutes then they both go outside. I went outside a minute or two later and saw them both arguing. I don't know who pushed who first but pretty soon they were both wrestling around on the ground. After they were done fighting, this other guy, Mark, went back in the bar. Marty and I then also went back in but the bartender told Marty that he wouldn't serve him because he just got into a fight. Marty and I went to my car and I was going to drive him home. On the way home he said, "I'm not going to get this drunk again, he and I will meet again."

I spoke with Marty the next day and began to tease him a little about the fight and Marty said, "We'll meet again someday." I took that to mean that Marty and Mark had not seen the last of each other.

I stayed overnight at Marty's house on January 6, 1989. I woke up the morning of the 7th and Marty was already up. He was drinking in the morning and had about 3 drinks of Southern Comfort and Mountain Dew. We left Marty's house between 2:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. We were in Marty's blue truck and Marty was driving. We took the following routes at the following approximate times.

Marty first drove down Central Ave south to 147th St. He then took a left and headed eastbound until almost Cicero Ave when he stopped in a Sears store in a strip mall to see if it had a part for his knife or something. The Sears store didn't have it so we got back in the truck and Marty got on Cicero and went northbound to 111th St where he took a left and went west to my Grandmother's house. We got to my Grandmother's house about 3:15 p.m. We weren't there very long and then we left.

Marty got back on 111th St and headed west until Roberts Rd where he took a right and went northbound on Roberts Rd until 87th St. He took a left on 87th St. As we proceeded west on 87th St. we saw a guy walking on the right side of the road heading west. Marty drove past him and said, "that's him, that's the guy." We then kept on going and Marty said, "he's probably going to the "Grove." We then kept going to Kean Ave where Marty took a right and headed north to the "Grove 5" tavern. We parked in the rear-center part of the parking lot where we have a few drinks that Marty brought from his house. I thought that we were going to wait until Mark got to the "Grove" and then Marty was going to fight him again. We sat in the parking lot until about 4:15 p.m. or 4:30 p.m. Mark hadn't appeared yet so Marty started the truck and pulled out of the parking lot and went south on Kean Ave and then we saw mark about 1 block from the "Grove" as he continued to walk north. We passed him on the other side of the street and Marty drove to Chestnut Road where he made a wide U-turn and began to head north again. Marty was going about 35-45 mph. We could see Mark walking on the white line of the roadway. I saw him from 1/2 to 3/4 of a block away. I would say that I saw him for about 10 seconds as we approached him.

As Marty was coming closer and closer to Mark he wasn't slowing down. Marty's truck was going right toward Mark and just about the time he hit Mark, about 2 seconds beforehand, Marty yells, "fucking wino." Marty then hit him. I didn't see the actual impact or what happened with the body because right after Marty yelled the "fucking wino" thing I covered my head and bent over because I knew Marty was going to hit him.

After Marty hit him he just kept on going and steam was coming out of the radiator. The hood was also bent. Marty went for about a block past the "Grove" and then stopped and got out to check how bad the damage was. He got out and went to the front of the vehicle and checked it. He then got back in the truck and said, "we got to get to Bob's."

He continued north on Kean until 81st Street where he took a right and went east until 88th Ave. He took a left on 88th Ave and headed north until 79th St. He took a right heading east on 79th St. until Roberts Road where he took a left and proceeded northbound until you get to a stoplight which street name I don't know. Bob's house is a couple of blocks from this light.

As we were pulling up to Bob's house, Bob saw us and came out. Bob asked, "Jesus, what did you hit?" Marty first said, "I hit something." As Bob was checking out the radiator and fan damage, Bob asked again "what did you hit?" Marty said, "I hit the wino." Bob just shook his head.

Prior to Marty hitting Mark with the truck, I was with him continuously from the morning on. Marty had been drinking but he didn't claim he was drunk. Nor did he have any visible problems controlling the car. He and I were also conversing freely about different things throughout the course of the day and up until he hit Mark.

I have given the above statement because it is the truth. The statement was voluntary and non-coercive. It was given only after I waived my Constitutional rights and I was told that I was free to go if I wished. The police and the Assistant State's Attorney have treated me well. I have been offered and accepted some food and drink and have been able to use the washroom. I can read and write English and am free from the effects of drugs or alcohol.

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