Jeremaine Tilmon, stepfather of Davontae Sanford, found murdered on Detroit’s east side Nov. 2
Great joy of Sanford’s release turns into great sorrow for his mother, Taminko Sanford-Tilmon, family and youth he mentored
Tilmon worked tirelessly to stop gang violence in his community
Police investigating–still many questions
By Diane Bukowski, Editor Voice of Detroit
November 3, 2016DETROIT — The staff of Voice of Detroit expresses our absolute shock, grief and condolences to the family and world-wide circle of supporters of Davontae Sanford, regarding the brutal execution-style murder of his stepfather Jeremaine Tilmon yesterday, Nov. 2, 2016.
Channel Two news reported, “According to Detroit Police, Jeremaine Tilmon was killed in the 3600 block of Chatsworth on Detroit’s east side Thursday morning around 2:30,” and more as in video above.
Jeremaine Tilmon was a Rock of Gibraltar for the family all through Davontae’s nine-year ordeal, present at all rallies, press conferences, court hearings, prayer breakfasts and other events. At a candlelight vigil Nov. 3, youth from East English Village Academy mourned the loss of this stalwart man who guided them away from the violence of the streets.
Tilmon married the love of his life Taminko Sanford before Davontae was finally freed June 8, 2016, after the 14-year-old child spent nine years since the age of 14 in Michigan’s prison system, for crimes he did not commit.
Mr. Tilmon was outspoken in support of Davontae throughout all the events. He also headed a choral group that sang at a prayer breakfast for Davontae last February and was reportedly a school counselor.
Voice of Detroit interviewed him numerous times, and has photos and videos of him beginning from the early years of the battle for Davontae’s release, which are published here.
Hitman Vincent Smothers confessed to the murders of the four people in an alleged drug house in 2007 blamed on Davontae, shortly after the child was sentenced by Judge Brian Sullivan.
Despite that, Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy and Circuit Court Judge Brian Sullivan refused to relent in their persecution of this child until broad support for his cause forced them to back off. However, both Kym Worthy’s press conference on Davontae’s release, the joint motion to dismiss without prejudice (meaning charges can be brought back) by Worthy and SADO attorney Valerie Newman, and Judge Sullivan’s court order granting that motion painted a negative picture of Davontae as Worthy sought to salvage her reputation.
Sullivan did the same, defending his years-long trial of Davontae despite clear evidence of a child’s false confession, and even questioning the validity of Vincent Smothers’ confession. Worthy and Sullivan left open to question whether Davontae was actually innocent and leaving him open to possible repercussions from others.
At Davontae’s press conference June 9, a cordon of Detroit police officers including Gang Squad members hovered outside, allegedly to protect the family because it had received threats from the Runyon Street victims’ families. Police continued to escort Davontae on his speaking engagements afterwards.
Where were they when a vicious gunman shot Davontae’s beloved stepfather down to the ground and then pumped more bullets into him? Who executed Jeremaine Tilmon and why? Will the DPD truly investigate this case or will there be another cover-up?
The Michigan State Police report and other sources showed that Worthy and the Detroit Police knew Davontae was not guilty almost from the beginning, as indicated in the list of stories below. Eyewitnesses at the scene of the Runyon Street killings, including a woman inside the house, identified a man taller and older than Davontae.
We’re just too heartsick to continue right now, but are publishing the photos we have of that loving family, so filled with joy at Davontae’s release, and now so overwhelmed with grief, as well as links to VOD’s stories on Davontae and his family.
We will continue to follow events in Jermaine’s killing as they develop.
Below: Jeremaine Tilmon speaks in video about his stepson, Aiyana Jones, and Trayvon Martin, by VOD videographer Kenny Snodgress.
Please help this family with funeral costs; they are not well off and need your help now. GoFundMe: https://www.gofundme.com/jermaine-tilmon