Winnebago County Sheriff's Police

News Media Release

News Release Number


Information: Murder


Date: 5-16-14

Time: 3:00 P.M.

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On Sunday May 4, 2014 Winnebago County Sheriff’s Deputies were sent to 4211 Crandall Ave in reference to a possible person deceased in a vehicle.


Upon arrival deputies found a tan Buick backed partially into the front yard of the vacant home. There was a male in the driver’s seat of the vehicle, deceased.


The victim was identified as 27yr old James S. Tilson of Rockford. An autopsy conducted by the Winnebago County Coroner’s office determined he died of multiple gunshot wounds.


A follow-up investigation was conducted by Winnebago County Sheriff’s Detectives and the results of that investigation were reviewed with the Winnebago County State’s Attorney’s Office.


A charge of First Degree Murder was authorized against Willie B. Burnett Jr. (male DOB 11-27-80/33yrs old/Rockford) on May 16, 2014


Burnett was taken into custody on Thursday May 15, 2014 on an unrelated weapons charge. He is lodged in the Winnebago County Jail.


The charges against Burnett are merely accusations. He is presumed innocent unless proven guilty in court.























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