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Guerneville homicide suspect faces lesser charge

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A man initially suspected of participating in the recent slaying of a Guerneville man now faces a lesser charge and is out on bail.

Gary Allen Scott, 56, was returned to Sonoma County from Arizona last week, where he was arrested in connection with the death of Michael Tillman, 67.

In a Sonoma County court hearing Friday, prosecutors did not file a homicide charge but instead charged Scott with being an accessory in the case.

Bail was set at $25,000 and he was released from jail after posting a bond.

Andrew Sharkey, 35, of Great Britain remained in custody without bail on a homicide charge.

Tillman, a reclusive man who lived for years in a converted garage of a Guernville home, was strangled to death with a wire.

His body was found June 27, after Sharkey reported the death to deputies, saying he?d witnesses the man?s murder. Sharkey soon became a suspect, however, and was subsequently arrested.

Scott was located in Arizona, where he also was arrested on a homicide charge.

As well as being killed, Tillman?s truck was stolen and a substantial amount of money he kept in his home was taken.

Sharkey and Scott reportedly were involved in a medical marijuana business, according to the sheriff?s department.

Details on what Scott now is suspected of having done in connection with the case weren?t available Monday.

Sonoma County sheriff?s detectives are continuing to investigate the slaying. Sgt. Tim Duke referred questions about Scott?s change in charges to prosecutors.

That information wasn?t available from the Sonoma County District Attorney?s Office Monday morning.

Scott?s attorney, Evan Zelig of Santa Rosa, declined to discuss evidence in the case.

Monday Zelig said his client had nothing to do with Tillman?s death and that if convicted of the current accessory charge, he would face a maximum of three years in state prison.

He called Scott a talented artist and sculptor who will plead not guilty at his next court hearing on July 28.

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