JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Warning: This story may be disturbing to some.
A detailed and graphic jailhouse recording continued this morning with jurors listening to Russell Tillis describe killing and dismembering victims.
Tillis faces the death penalty for murdering 30-year-old Joni Lynn Gunter and burying her in his Southside backyard.
Tillis doesn’t dispute the fact of the confession but claims it was all made up – a deliberate effort to get the death penalty.
In the confession, Tillis tells inmate Sammie Evans that he kept women captive in his home and sold them to friends for sex and other kinds of abuse.
He testifies that his brother Claude Tillis came to the house for that purpose one day, and the woman recognized him.
“He freaks out. He says, man, you gotta kill that b****,” reportedly says Tillis in the recording. Read the full transcript here.
Tillis claimed his brother talked him into killing the woman – whom prosecutors say is Gunter.
“I told him, I said, look man, I’ll kill her but you cut her up."
Tillis says he had his brother hang the body from the garage ceiling with chains, and gave him a Sawzall. But after cutting off her head, he says, his brother got “squeamish” and left – leaving Tillis to dismember the body.
He then describes burying her in his backyard, where police detectives say they found her a few years later.
Claude Tillis has been interviewed by police. He has not been charged in the case.
Prosecutors told the judge they will wrap up their case today. Tillis’ attorneys told jurors he will take the stand in his own defense and that could happen as soon as early afternoon Thursday.