Deon Thomas Ordered Held in Stabbing Death of John Thomas Tillman

Judge Karen Howze ordered Deon Thomas held Tuesday in connection with the stabbing death of 63-year-old John Thomas Tillman. Thomas, 37, remains held pending a preliminary hearing December 20.

On December 8, police found Tillman with a stab wound to his right neck at the intersection of North Capitol Street and Florida Avenue Northwest. Tillman was taken to a hospital where he was pronounced dead at 10:35 p.m., 23 minutes later. An autopsy later concluded that Tillman suffered a severe laceration to his cartoid artery, causing significant blood loss.

Charging documents say on Dec. 8, Thomas was sent to a local hospital after emergency personnel responded to a report from a local homeless shelter that someone was “acting irrationally and bleeding from the hands”.

En route to the hospital Thomas told police officer that he was “fighting a guy that keeps attacking him in his dreams”, according to the documents. When questioned about the cuts on his hands, Thomas told officers, “I think I got him. … the guy I fight in my dreams. He got me and I got him.”

At the hospital, a three inch blade with fresh blood on it fell out of Thomas’s pocket, documents say. In a later interview with police, Thomas said that he has a work knife that matched the description of the knife that fell out of his pocket.

During the interview, Thomas told officers he thought that he was dreaming when a man walked up to him at the CVS store on U Street and said, “I got you.”

Thomas said that he tried to run, but the man prevented him from running.

According to the documents, Thomas said that the man tried to grab his shoulder, but Thomas was able to hit the man in the side. Thomas started running and hitting the man in the side, while the other man laughed, Thomas told police.

One witness told police that someone struck Tillman in the head after an unknown person yelled, “Hey.” Tillman fell to the ground, the witness said, and the person who hit him ran east-bound on Q Street NW.

Thomas told police that after he ran to Lincoln Road, he thought, “Was that real?”, documents say.

Thomas also told police that he suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder and that he had several alcoholic beverages that day, documents say. According to documents, Thomas told police, “I hope I didn’t do nothing stupid tonight, but I don’t know.”

Asked if he had taken out his knife “to get the man off him”, Thomas said, “I probably did, I don’t remember.”

Charging documents have been added below.

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