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Inmate charged in cellmate’s death has killed twice before

This Mar. 27, 2017 booking photo provided by the South Carolina Department of Corrections shows William Tillman. Tillman, a South Carolina inmate sentenced for killing someone behind bars, charged with murder in the death of his cellmate last month. Arrest warrants say Tillman kicked Carl Pollen, Jr. several times in the head, then strangled him with a sheet, on 29 April 2019, at Perry Correctional Institute in near Pelzer, S. C. (South Carolina Department of Corrections via AP)

COLUMBIA, S. C. – A South Carolina prisoner recently charged with murder in the death of a cell mate last April killed another prisoner 17 years ago and was sent away for life for the fatal stabbing of his roommate in 1999.

William Edward Tilman, 54, kicked Carl Pollen, Jr. several times in the head and then strangled him with a sheet 29 of April in their cell at Perry Correctional Institute in near Pelzer, according to an arrest warrant released Wednesday.

Both men were serving life sentences for murder. Tillman killed his roommate by stabbing him in the neck with a butcher knife in Spartanburg County, in 1999. Pollen, 45, beat and stabbed a Myrtle Beach motel owner, who employed him in 1999.

Tillman killed in 2002, stabbing his cellmate, 37-year-old Michael Hodge, at McCormick Correctional Institute, according to court records. Hodge was serving a 10-year sentence for burglary, forgery, larceny and other charges of Spartanburg County. Tillman pleaded guilty to murder and was given an additional 30 years tacked on to his life sentence.

Tillman was immediately sent to Kirkland Correctional Institute, which has the maximum security unit where the worst behaving prisoners are isolated, according to state prison records.

Tillman spent 13 years there is than a few visits to the court or to get medical care, before he was returned to the general prison in 2015.

Since 2002, cross, Tillman’s only violations of the prison police before the April attack were three violations for having mobile phones, which are banned behind bars, and a possession of drugs offence, according to jail records.

The prison officials not immediately respond to questions about the move of Tillman back in the general population, but Corrections Director Bryan Stirling said the prison system understands the psychological difficulties of keeping prisoners isolated.

Records are not as Tillman has a lawyer for his recent murder charge.

In his first murder in 1999, Tillman testified in his own defense, said that he killed 53-year-old Harry Jolley Jr. because he was attacked and tried to defend himself.

Jolley was angry with Tillman, as the two got to know each other when Tillman was lifts and Jolley offered him a place to stay. The two had a sexual relationship for a while before Tillman testified he asked to end it.

The night of the killing, Jolley was angry because the relationship did not start again.

But prosecutors said Tillman first attacked his roommate with a knife, then after he was hurt, went to the kitchen, got a butcher knife, and stabbed him in the neck to kill him. Other titles included imprints of Tillman’s shoes on Jolley’s back and head.

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Follow Jeffrey Collins on Twitter https://twitter.com/JSCollinsAP

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