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Travis Forbes admits to beating Lydia Tillman, setting her apartment on fire

9:57 PM, Sep 27, 2011   |    comments
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During court testimony on Tuesday, it was revealed Forbes, 31, strangled Lydia Tillman in her apartment on July 5, stomped on her body, beat her head and shattered her jaw. Police say Forbes also poured bleach on her body as an attempt to hide the evidence, and then lit her apartment on fire, leaving Tillman for dead.

Forbes has been sentenced to 48 years in prison to run consecutively with the life sentence he received Monday after he admitted to killing 19-year-old Kenia Monge in April. Forbes led police to her body in Weld County on Sept. 7, buried under a cottonwood tree near Keenesburg, about 40 miles from Denver.

According to the testimony, Tillman awoke to flames in her apartment and escaped by jumping from the second floor window. Authorities said in court the jump saved her life. Tillman suffered a stroke on the way to the hospital and as a result is unable to speak. Her family says she could be disabled for life. 

After the testimony, Larimer County District Attorney Larry Abrahamson described the incident as the most vicious crime he had ever seen in Fort Collins.

Tillman was surrounded by family during the hearing. She sobbed off and on during the emotional event.

Tillman's sister Esther Hartsky spoke in court Tuesday and said her sister was unconscious and badly beaten when she first saw her in the hospital.

"I couldn't recognize my own sister," Hartsky said.

Forbes told the court the crime was random. He said it was good that she survived, because "I probably would have done this again."

"I am, somewhere deep down, f----ed up and evil," he said.

Forbes also apologized for the violence to the community, and as he was leaving the courtroom, he said he was sorry.

During the testimony, Tillman's father read a statement she had prepared.

"Travis Forbes, you caused me no harm," the statement said. "My spirit, my soul and my mind remain untouched. May you find peace in this life."

Tillman's family has set up a "Friends of Lydia" Facebook page:!/pages/Friends-of-Lydia/191956844193943  


(KUSA-TV © 2011 Multimedia Holdings Corporation)

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