UNION COUNTY — The Sixteenth Circuit Solicitor’s Office has dropped charges against a Union man who had been charged with providing a convicted felon with the gun used in the 2015 shooting death of their stepmother.
In a statement released late Friday, Deputy Solicitor John Anthony announced that the Solicitor’s Office was dismissing three warrants against Timothy Jay “TJ” Tyler for delivery of a pistol to a person convicted of a crime of violence. Anthony said that Timothy Tyler was charged with providing three pistols to Ashley Tyler who is prohibited by law from possessing a firearm. He said that Ashley Tyler is charged with using one of those pistols to murder Rebecca Tyler on Nov. 18, 2015.
Timothy Tyler, 34, 1211 River Road, Union, was arrested by the Union County Sheriff’s Office in December 2015 and charged with delivery of a pistol to a convicted felon for providing Ashley Tyler with a Tanfoglio GT32 automatic pistol. In a statement announcing Timothy Tyler’s arrest, Union County Sheriff David Taylor said the gun had been provided Ashley Tyler by Timothy Tyler through Dabriada Alman.
Taylor said at the time that Ashley Tyler is a convicted felon and therefore is not legally permitted to possess firearms. He said this was also why Timothy Tyler had been charged with two additional counts of delivery of a pistol to a convicted felon. In those instances, Taylor said Timothy Tyler provided Ashley Tyler with a Smith & Wesson .357 Magnum and a Smith & Wesson Model 686.
Ashley Tyler, 40, is charged by the Union County Sheriff’s Office with failure to register as a sex offender, possession of a weapon by a convicted felon, and murder.
Dabriada Alman, 40, is charged by the Union County Sheriff’s Office with transferring a weapon to a convicted felon and accessory after the fact of murder.
The murder charge against Ashley Tyler, the accessory charge against Dabriada Alman, and the weapons charges against both of them were filed by the sheriff’s office in connection with the Nov. 19 shooting death of Rebecca W. Tyler, 61, 1303 River Road. Rebecca W. Tyler was found dead in her home around 11:30 a.m. Nov. 19 having been shot once in the brain, once in the heart and once in the abdomen.
In his statement announcing the dropping of the charges against Timothy Tyler, Anthony said that the charges against him “were primarily on a statement given by Ashley Tyler after his arrest in which he claimed to have received three guns from T.J. Tyler and claimed knowledge of the crime by another co-defendant, Dabriada Alman. After Ashley Tyler provided his statement, a Magistrate found that sufficient evidence existed to issue the warrants against T.J. Tyler. Since T.J. Tyler’s arrest, Ashley Tyler has recanted the part of the statement in which he implicated Ms. Alman.”
Anthony pointed out that since the arrest of T.J. Tyler, the Solicitor’s Office and the Sheriff’s Office “have pursued further investigation including a thorough review of phone record information and the conducting of additional interviews in an effort to corroborate the allegations made by Ashley Tyler against T.J. Tyler. These efforts, however, have not yielded additional incriminating evidence. As a result of further investigation and Ashley Tyler’s recantation, the Solicitor’s Office presently does not have sufficient evidence to prove T.J. Tyler’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt as required by law.”
While the warrants initially against him in 2015 have been dismissed, Anthony said that “should additional evidence develop against T.J. Tyler, the Sheriff’s Office could refiled charges and a prosecution be pursued at that time.”
After his arrest, T.J. Tyler went before a Union County Magistrate for a bond hearing and was released on a $6,000 personal recognizance bond which allowed him to sign himself out of jail. Union County Chief Magistrate Jimmy Crocker said at the time that a personal recognizance bond is issued to an individual who is not considered a danger to the community and/or a flight risk and will show up for their scheduled court date.
At the time of his arrest, T.J. Tyler was employed the Union County School District as a music teacher at Foster Park Elementary School and was subsequently placed on leave by the school district.
On Tuesday, District Director of Personnel Jeff Stribble said that T.J. Tyler was no longer an employee of the school district as of this school year. He declined to provide information as it involves a personnel matter.
Following her arrest, Dabriada Alman was held in the Union County Jail until Feb. 9 when she was released on $30,000 bond and placed under electronic monitoring. The charges against her are still pending.
Ashley Tyler was in the news again in August when he and another inmate escaped from the Union County Jail on Aug. 19. They were both recaptured in the Buffalo area on Aug. 20 and returned to jail where escape charges were filed against them. Both Ashley Tyler and other escapee were then transferred to the Spartanburg County Jail where they remain.
Charles Warner can be reached at 864-762-4090.