When Jason Tilley’s landlord said his rent was going up $30, the 37-year-old wasn’t happy, police say.
Tilley told police he learned of the increase right after paying his landlord $560 for rent, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. The two talked about the higher rent in a garage at the apartment complex in Cudahy, Wisconsin, on March 1, police say.
Tilley allegedly hid a handgun in the pocket of his hoodie — and shot his landlord in the back of the head during their conversation, according to the Journal Sentinel. He admitted to stealing money and car keys from the landlord’s pocket, police say, and moving the dead man’s car to a nearby street before going to Walmart to buy new clothes.
Then he went home to take a couple of shots and drink a few beers, Tilley allegedly confessed, before going to sleep. He went to work the next morning, according to WSFA.
The landlord’s wife reported her husband as missing on Thursday, telling police that he went to meet with a tenant named “Jason” at a property he owns, according to Fox6. Officers went to speak with Tilley at the apartment and allegedly noticed “what appeared to be blood on the door and door frame” of his room.
Tilley wasn’t there at the time of the officers’ visit, police say.
Officers returned to the complex on Friday and said they found a pool of blood in the garage — as well as “a large blanket rolled up against the wall.” The landlord’s body was inside that blanket, police say, and an autopsy found he died from an apparent gunshot wound to his head, Fox6 reported.
Police arrested Tilley that same day while he was at work, WSFA reports, and charged him with first-degree intentional homicide and possession of a firearm by a felon.
At first, Tilley recounted what he did on Thursday without talking about his landlord, according to Fox6. But he allegedly responded “yes” when an officer asked if he shot and killed the unidentified man.
Security footage appeared to show Tilley parking the landlord’s car before leaving on a bus, police told the Journal Sentinel. The daughter of the slain man saw the car in a parking lot and informed police.
The death was shocking news for Sharon Cebula, a tenant at the apartment complex, who described the landlord as someone who “took care of this place.” She added that Tilley “just had a personal vendetta” against the man he’s accused of killing.
"You know, someone loses a temper, maybe you want to smack them or something,” she told WSFA. “But to kill him?”
Tilley has a cash bond of $750,000 and a preliminary hearing set for March 14.