EDWARDSVILLE, Ill. — A man was charged Monday after investigators with the Major Case said he stabbed and killed well-known Edwardsville lawyer Randy Gori.
Timothy Banowetz, a 28-year-old Wentzville man, was charged with murder and multiple other charges in connection with the death. Investigators believe Banowetz's actions were premeditated, but have not been able to make a previous connection between Gori and Banowetz. Investigators believe he acted alone.
In a Monday evening press conference, Deputy Commander of the Major Case Squad's investigation David Vucich said there were two children inside the home at the time of the incident. Vucich said Gori's actions during the incident likely saved lives, and he was a hero in the incident. Vucich said he would not provide more information about the specifics or a possible motive.
"In my 22-year career as a law enforcement official, I have seen a lot of gruesome cases but this one elevates to the top of heinous and senseless crimes," Vucich said.
Banowetz was charged with three alternative counts of first-degree murder, three counts of armed robbery, three counts of aggravated unlawful restraint and one count of offenses related to a motor vehicle. The multiple counts of murder will be combined into one as the investigation continues.
Banowetz is being held without bond. Prosecutors said if certain factors are found and Banowetz is found guilty, he could be sentenced to life in prison.
Banowetz was a student at St. Louis College of Pharmacy, below is a statement from president John A. Pieper,
'We are shocked and deeply saddened by the information that was released yesterday in the investigation of the murder of Edwardsville attorney Randy Gori. Our thoughts and prayers are with Mr. Gori’s family and loved ones as they grapple with this indescribable loss, and we offer them our deepest condolences.
At this time, we can confirm that Timothy Banowetz was a student enrolled at the College in good standing during the fall semester. We have no additional information other than what has been reported.
We are committed to providing support and cooperation to the Major Case Squad and local law enforcement agencies wherever possible as they continue their work. In support of the ongoing investigation, we will defer to law enforcement agencies to release information and provide updates in a manner that protects the integrity of their investigation.
Our campus community has deep roots in the metro east, and many of our students, faculty and staff are residents of the Edwardsville and surrounding communities. This heartbreaking loss is deeply felt on our campus.
As we learn more about this tragic event in the coming days and weeks, the College is taking active steps to provide support to students, faculty and staff affected.'
Just before 9 p.m. Saturday, deputies with the Madison County Sheriff’s Office responded to the 4500 block of Mooney Creek Road. They arrived to find a man dead inside the home, police said.
While investigating what happened at Gori’s Edwardsville home, deputies discovered a black 2020 Rolls-Royce Cullinan SUV was missing from the property.
This led the Madison County Sheriff’s Office to activate the Major Case Squad. More than 25 investigators from law enforcement agencies in the area are now helping in the investigation.
The Rolls-Royce was located, the Major Case Squad confirmed Sunday afternoon. It was towed to the Madison County Sheriff's Office Sunday afternoon.
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