Russell Tillis to get 4th attorney in aggravated assault case

Attorney files motion to withdraw as jury selection set to begin


A man charged with murder is getting his fourth attorney for his trial on a previous charge of attacking police officers.

Jury selection was set to begin Monday for Russell Tillis, who is facing charges of aggravated assault on law enforcement officers in 2015, when his third attorney asked to be removed from the case.

On Wednesday, Circuit Judge Mark Borello appointed a private attorney to take over the case and rescheduled the trial for April 10.

Tillis, 55, is also accused of killing, dismembering and burying a young woman in the yard of his Southside home, but a trial date for those charges has not been set.

Attorney Kevin Carlisle filed a motion Monday to withdraw from the case weeks after Tillis accused Carlisle of secretly recording their jailhouse conversations.

Carlisle was Tillis' third attorney in the case. The previous two withdrew because of ongoing conflicts with Tillis, who has been in jail since May 2015 when he was arrested on aggravated assault charges.

Police said two officers came to Tillis' Southside home with warrants for  threatening a neighbor and violating an injunction and that he attacked the officers with knives.

Tillis has been arrested several times over the past decade, including on charges of sexual assault, stalking, indecent exposure and soliciting for prostitution.

While he was in jail on the aggravated assault charges from May 2015, police received a tip that led them to find the remains of Joni Lynn Gunter buried in Tillis' yard. He has been charged with second-degree murder, kidnapping, human trafficking, abuse of a dead body and tampering with evidence in that case.

Tillis remains in the Duval County jail without bond.