Illinois Woman Accused Of Killing Pregnant Friend Also Indicted In Drownings Of Her 3 Children

Friday, April 20th 2007, 3:21 pm
By: News On 6

BELLEVILLE, Ill. (AP) _ A baby sitter already accused of killing a pregnant friend was charged Friday with drowning the woman's three children in a bath tub and then hiding the bodies in the family's washing machine and dryer.

Grand jurors indicted Tiffany Hall, 24, on three counts of first-degree murder in the East St. Louis deaths last September of DeMond Tunstall, 7, Ivan Tunstall-Collins, 2, and Jinela Tunstall, 1.

Hall admitted she drowned Ivan Tunstall-Collins and Jinela Tunstall, then found their brother, DeMond Tunstall, Illinois State Police investigator David Bivens testified during a coroner's inquest last week.

``She told DeMond it was time to take a bath, and she drowned him, too,'' Bivens said.

A coroner's jury ruled the deaths of the children, their mother, Jimella Tunstall, and her fetus to be homicides.

Hall, already charged in the deaths of Tunstall and her fetus, could face the death penalty if convicted. She has pleaded not guilty in those deaths and remained jailed Friday on $5 million bond.

A message left Friday with one of her attorneys was not immediately returned.

During the coroner's inquest last week, Bivens testified that Hall admitted beating the pregnant Tunstall over the head with a table leg, then cutting her fetus from the womb in a bathtub, where she later drowned Tunstall's three children.

``The senseless taking of the lives of defenseless children must be answered with appropriate punishment,'' St. Clair County's State's Attorney Robert Haida said Friday.