Defendant in Schaumburg killing testifies that he feared victim

  • Oliver L. Rhone

    Oliver L. Rhone

Updated 3/22/2023 9:11 PM

"I feared Quentin Tillison."

Oliver Rhone made that statement Wednesday as he testified during his trial on first-degree murder charges stemming from Tillison's 2017 killing in the parking lot of a Schaumburg Walgreens store.


The 42-year-old Glendale Heights resident recalled for defense attorney Donna Rotunno several instances when he feared for his life following an encounter with Tillison, who he met through acquaintances in 2001.

One of those encounters occurred in July 2016, when they faced off at a bar in West Chicago, Rhone testified.

Rhone said Tillison threatened him by stating "I told you, the next time I see you I'll kill you," then stabbed him in the neck with a sharp object as bar security separated them.

He testified that he did not call police after the confrontation because he feared retaliation and for his family's safety. He did not reveal Tillison's identity to hospital personnel for the same reason, he added.

About a month later, Rhone testified, he and his fiance were at a Schaumburg restaurant when a knife-wielding Tillison and another man approached them. Rhone said he backed up from Tillison in an attempt "to keep my distance from him." Police were called, but Rhone said he declined to file a report.

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On Aug. 14, 2017, the day of the Tillison's killing, Rhone testified that he and his fiance pulled his white SUV into the Walgreens parking lot at the intersection of Roselle and Wise roads in Schaumburg. Moments later, Tillison walked out of the store, Rhone said.

Upon seeing Tillison, Rhone testified that he grabbed his legally possessed .22-caliber firearm, and put it in his pocket. Meanwhile his fiance "jumped out of the car immediately," he said. Video from the store's exterior surveillance camera shows her running along a sidewalk, away from the two men.

Rhone testified he exited his vehicle to put as much distance as possible between him and Tillison in order to "neutralize the threat." However, he testified, Tillison threatened him verbally then "reached behind his back and launched at me."

Rhone shot Tillison in the stomach. Tillison then ran through bushes on the parking lot's perimeter along Roselle Road and collapsed. Several witnesses heard him say, "Oliver ... Oliver did this," according to prosecutors.


Tillison, 37, died the next day.

Rhone turned himself in to Schaumburg police two days later, but did not turn over a gun. He said he gave it to an aunt.

"You didn't bring the weapon you used to save your life to show the police?" Assistant Cook County State's Attorney Sharon Kanter asked during cross-examination.

"That's right," said Rhone, who is being held without bail at Cook County jail.

Rhone admitted under cross-examination that he was the only one restrained following the altercation at the West Chicago bar. He also admitted lying to a nurse about his neck injury, telling her "I was just in the wrong place at the wrong time."

Kanter pointed out Rhone could have filed police reports after both confrontations without pressing charges, but chose not to.

Closing arguments are scheduled for Thursday at the Cook County courthouse in Rolling Meadows.

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