LEFT: Damone Christopher Williams-Tillman
Damone Christopher Williams-Tillman today entered a guilty plea to one felony count 1st Degree murder while committing domestic abuse with Past Pattern of Domestic Abuse in the death of Josselyn Marie Bishop.
After the plea was accepted, Williams-Tillmam was sentenced to the mandatory life in prison. He would be eligible for parole after serving a minimum of 30 years in prison.
In order to accept a guilty plea, Williams-Tillman was sworn in, took the stand and was led through the fact of the case by his attorney Barry Voss.
Voss guided Williams-Tillman through what happened the afternoon of July 8th.
RIGHT: After the hearing, family friend Jamie Erickson holds a sign with Bishop's photo and the phrase "Domestic Violence Can And Does Kill. Erickson says Bishop's name on the sign is her writing.
Williams-Tillman admitted to many of the allegations made by investigators and contained in the criminal complaint filed shortly after his arrest.
He came to town and communicated with Bishop by both phone and text that he was see her.
Williams-Tillman would later reveal that they had dated for about nine months.
He picked her up. Bishop got into his car. They drove around talking.
RIGHT: A memorial to Bishop remained today along North Victory Drive in Mankato, across from the median where she was murdered.
In Voss's words "talked about issues important to each other."
Also in Voss's words things "became heated". Both raised their voices to each other.
"You took out that knife because you were angry," Voss asked Williams-Tillman.
Voss continued to described the incident, with Williams-Tillman stabbing Bishop once in the car. She fled the car and he gave chase, catching her and stabbing her multiple times after she collapsed in the grassy median of North Victory Drive.
During the recounting of the murder, Williams-Tillman was crying, head down wiping his eyes with his jail scrubs.
The rest of the courtroom observes were crying as well, hearing the gruesome details of Bishop's final minutes.
Because an element of the charge was that there was domestic abuse in the past, both Voss and Assistant County Attorney Pat McDermott questioned Williams-Tillman about those incidents.
One included him slashing her tires and another was a fight where he took her cell phone from her and threw into a pond.
Prior to sentencing victim impact statements were read on behalf of Bishop's mother, father, younger brothers and sisters.
Judge Brad Walker then pronounced the mandatory sentence on Williams-Tillman.
Life in prison.
"I can't turn the clock back," concluded Walker.
His own voice cracked with emotion, got up and left the courtroom.