Banowetz Asks To Withdraw Guilty Plea In Prominent Attorney's Murder
EDWARDSVILLE – Timothy Banowetz, 31, who was convicted after a guilty plea in the murder of prominent attorney Randy Gori, is asking Judge Kyle Napp to withdraw his guilty plea.
A hearing on the matter is scheduled for April 13. Banowetz entered a guilty plea to one count of first-degree murder and two counts of armed robbery in October 2021, just before he was set to go to trial. He has been serving a 70-year sentence in the murder case.
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Timothy Banowetz pleaded guilty to one count of first-degree murder and two counts of armed robbery in October 2021 just before he was set to go to trial. He was a former St. Louis college student.
Banowetz claims in his hand-printed request that the guilty plea was not made voluntarily and was made because of coercion and inadequate representation. Banowetz was charged in January 2020 with first-degree murder for entering Gori’s Edwardsville home, binding the victim and his two children, then killing Gori.
Police were called to the scene of Banowetz’s abandoned truck the night before the crimes. In the truck, they found a Google map of the area around the victim’s home. There were footprints leading away from the truck. A 911 call came in shortly after the truck was found.
A video camera caught an image of the defendant entering the home, armed with a knife and a presumably fake handgun. Banowetz fled with $4,000 he found in the home before the robbery was interrupted. He fled in Gori’s Rolls-Royce. The next day, a team of officers found Banowetz in the Rolls about 1,000 feet from the Gori home.
There were bloodstains in the vehicle, plus $4,000 in cash. Investigators used the Internet and handwritten documents to piece together the murder’s plot.
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