EDWARDSVILLE, Illinois — Timothy M. Branowetz, a convicted killer, had his motion to withdraw his guilty plea for the murder of attorney Randy Gori denied. Circuit Judge Kyle Napp granted Madison County State’s Attorney Tom Haine’s request to dismiss the motion.
Haine responded to this decision, saying, “We hope this ruling brings an end to this convicted murderer’s legal gamesmanship. We will continue to make every effort to ensure he serves every day of his 70-year sentence.”
Haine added that Gori’s family deserves time to heal with a sense of closure.
In December 2021, after pleading guilty to first-degree murder and armed robbery, Banowetz was sentenced to 70 years in prison. Circuit Judge Kyle Napp granted Haine’s request to dismiss Banowetz’s motion to withdraw his guilty plea sentence on November 9. There is a 30-day window to withdraw a guilty plea, but Banowetz’s proposal reached the Circuit Clerk in December 2022, months after the window had closed.
Banowetz claimed he sent the motion in December 2021, and his mail was held up. However, at the November 9 hearing, it was determined that Banowetz could not have mailed the motions from prison in December 2021.
Gori was stabbed at his Edwardsville home in January 2020. An investigation by the Madison County Sheriff’s Office led to Banowetz’s arrest near the scene, wearing a bloody shirt. Banowetz, homeless at the time, planned to rob Gori.
When police found Banowetz, a note detailing the murder plan fell out during the identification check. He was arrested.
The to-do list said:
- Watch with binoculars from the woods.
- Use gun and knife to subdue.
- Ziptie hands and duct tape mouth.
- Withdraw 4-6 million from the bank.
- Kill all of them and remove zip ties and duct tape.
- Burn bodies and house.”
Note: The video in this story is from 2021.