Crime

Jim Tilmon charged with vehicular homicide in hit and run that killed Zewde Ali

Just past 6 p.m. on December 6, Zewde Ali, 61, stepped out of a bus and crossed to a center median on South Parker Road, as many people in the area do every single day. But before she could cross to the other side, Ali was struck and killed by a vehicle whose driver didn't feel like sticking around. Now, though, that man, ID'd as Jim Tilmon, isn't going anywhere. He remains in custody after being charged with vehicular homicide. Details below.

According to the arrest affidavit for Tilmon on view below, Ali, whose body was thrown into the street by the violence of the collision, was pronounced dead at the scene. Meanwhile, witnessed identified the vehicle that struck her as an SUV, possibly a Buick -- and a blue colored piece of trim found among the debris left behind as a result of the collision helped cops further pin down the hue.

Cut to a few minutes after midnight, when a Denver Police officer responded to a call on Quince Street from Sherice Robinson, who revealed that her car had been damaged. The vehicle in question was a blue 2002 Buick Rendezvous station wagon with Michigan plates. The car had suffered front-end bashing and lost a handful of parts that appeared to match those found at the area where Ali was killed.

Soon thereafter, cops had a pretty good idea of who might have been behind the wheel. Robinson revealed that she'd allowed her cousin, Tilmon, to drive the car at about 3 p.m. the previous day for a trip to the store. He returned just after the time Ali was struck and killed, dropping off the keys and splitting -- an unusual departure, given that the terms of his parole (he reportedly has an extensive criminal history, mostly related to drug crimes) call for him to be in by 6 p.m.

Some time later, a neighbor noticed the condition of her car, prompting Robinson to dial the police.

Tilmon remained at large for more than a day, before turning himself in this past Saturday. He's now been fitted with two charges -- vehicular homicide and leaving the scene of an accident resulting in death -- and booked for an extended stay at the Denver Detention Center; his bond was set at $250,000. He's scheduled to be formally advised of the accusations against him tomorrow.

Look below to see a CBS4 report, a larger version of Tilmon's latest mug shot and the arrest affidavit.

Jim Tilmon Arrest Affidavit

More from our Colorado Crime archive: "Dennis Esquibel busted in fatal Laura McDermott hit and run -- but was he the driver?"

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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts