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Authorities look for convicted molester
Prison awaits man who fled during trial
tillman marcus
Marcus Tillman
U.S. marshals are searching for a 38-year-old Forsyth County man who disappeared midway through his trial last month on child molestation charges.

Marcus Tillman was ultimately convicted and had not resurfaced by Thursday, when he was sentenced to 40 years in prison for child molestation, aggravated sodomy and cruelty to children.

Forsyth County Assistant District Attorney Sandy Partridge said Tillman took off after the prosecution rested and before the defense presented its case in his November 2006 arrest on charges of molesting two boys, ages 3 and 6.

Tillman, who had been under house arrest, removed an ankle monitor to get away, she said.

Partridge said the situation is unusual.

“I’ve never had anyone leave after trial started like this,” she said. “I’ve had, once before, someone left during jury selection, but in that case we never go forward. I’ve never had anyone leave during trial before.”

Tillman’s attorney, Charles Haldi of Cumming, said Tuesday he plans to appeal the conviction.

Haldi said he was “bewildered” by the situation and frustrated that they didn’t get a chance to present their side.

“As an attorney, I am dead set convinced that there is reasonable doubt rampant in this case,” he said.

Neither Haldi nor Partridge knows where Tillman may have fled. He is from Georgia, Partridge said, and lived in Forsyth County at the time of the offenses.

“It’s very frustrating and it’s very hard on the family,” she said.

Once caught, it’s unlikely Tillman will face additional penalties for disappearing, Partridge said.

“He violated his bond, but he was convicted,” she said. “He’ll just go to prison when he’s caught.”