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Woman shoots and kills her kidnapper

Originally ran here as:
Tennessee man shot to death at truck stop
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, May 29, 2001

Associated Press -- A Tennessee man was shot to death at a truck stop on Monday, apparently by a former girlfriend he had kidnapped from her mother's home earlier in the day, Whitfield County sheriff's officers said.

The woman, identified as Alisha Cox, 38, of Nashville, had been taken captive after the man broke into the home and shots were fired, Nashville police said. They said the woman's mother, who wasn't identified, was later found dead in the home.

The man put the woman in a truck, tied her up and drove to Whitfield County, where he stopped at the truck stop to pick up food and beverages, Whitfield County Sheriff Scott Chitwood said.

Cox then freed herself from her bonds and got out of the truck, carrying a pistol, Chitwood said.

"He confronted her and we believe made an aggressive move toward her at which time she began shooting," Chitwood said.

Witnesses said the woman chased the man across the parking lot, shooting several times.

"She shot him in the side of the head," said witness Gaylin McDaniels, "and when he hit the ground, she hesitated, and shot him twice in the back."

Police said Cox apparently acted in self-defense and charges were pending.

The man was not immediately identified by police, pending notification of relatives. Officers said he was 31 and lived in Nashville.

Follow-up: NO CHARGES

Originally ran here as:
"No charges in killing at truck stop"
By Pat Mahony, Chattanooga Times Free Press, Dalton Bureau

Wednesday, May 30, 2001

DALTON, Ga. -- A 38-year-old Nashville resident will not be charged for shooting and killing her ex-boyfriend at a Dalton truck stop Monday.

"(It's) justifiable homicide. We don't have any interest in charges. Our case is cleared down here by the death of the offender," said Detective Brad Corcoran, a 15-year veteran of the homicide division of the Nashville Police Department.

Ricky Tillman, 31, of Nashville was pronounced dead about 11:30 a.m. Monday at the Pilot Travel Center off Connector 3. Mr. Tillman had been shot once in the chest, once in the lower leg and once in the foot by a Tech 9 mm fired by Alisha Cox of Nashville, police said. Mr. Tillman and Ms. Cox had dated for two years before breaking up in September.

"It was the first shot (in the chest) which was the fatal shot. It went through his heart. It's what got him and put him on the ground," said Whitfield County Coroner Bobbie Dixon.

Ms. Cox was at her mother's Nashville home at 704 Robert Burns Drive about 7 a.m. Monday when Mr. Tillman demanded to see her, police said.

When she saw him pull into the driveway, Ms. Cox told her mother, Sylvia Butts, 54, to tell Mr. Tillman she wasn't home.

Ms. Butts went to the front door, closed it behind her, and confronted him.

Mr. Tillman, who Ms. Cox said had been stalking her for eight months, fired four shots from the Tech 9 mm handgun, officials said. One shot struck Ms. Butts in the shoulder and passed through to her heart, killing her, Detective Corcoran said.

When she heard the shots, Ms. Cox jumped out of a second-story window onto a concrete driveway, fracturing her back. She attempted to run to a neighbor's house when Mr. Tillman caught her in the driveway.

"He put a gun to her back and forced her into the driver's side of the tractor-trailer truck cab where he tied her up (with belts at her hands and feet) and put her into the sleeper of the truck," Detective Corcoran said. "He stopped in Murfreesboro and stole a trailer. We think that was to disguise the truck."

Mr. Tillman drove to Dalton where Ms. Cox was reportedly vomiting in the truck. He stopped at the Pilot Service Center at Connector 3 in Dalton to get something to control the problem, Detective Corcoran said.

"That's the irony, that he was going to the truck stop to take care of that," Detective Corcoran said.

After they arrived at the truck stop, Ms. Cox was able to free herself and left the cab of the truck, said Whitfield County Sheriff Scott Chitwood.

"When he came out of the store, he made aggressive moves toward her, and that's when shots were fired," Sheriff Chitwood said.

E-mail Pat Mahony at

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