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Man accused of murdering Randy Gori pleads not guilty

Banowetz pleaded not guilty to all of the charges, including murder, three counts of armed robbery and three counts of aggravated unlawful restraint.
Credit: Major Case Squad
Timothy Banowetz, a 28-year-old Wentzville man, was charged with murder and multiple other charges in connection with the death of Randy Gori.

EDWARDSVILLE, Ill. — The Wentzville man accused of stabbing well-known Metro East attorney Randi Gori to death pleaded not guilty Thursday.

On Jan. 6, Timothy 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.

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On Thursday, a spokesperson for the Madison County State's Attorney said Timothy Banowetz entered not guilty pleas before a Federal Grand Jury for all charges.

On Jan. 4, Randy L. Gori was found dead just before 9 p.m. in his home in the 4500 block of Mooney Creek Road.

Gori’s black 2020 Rolls-Royce Cullinan SUV was also missing from the scene.

The next day, the car was located, and police said they had a "strong person of interest" in custody. Banowetz was charged the next day.

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During a press conference announcing the charges, a spokesman for the Major Case Squad said there were two children inside the home at the time of the incident. The spokesman also said Gori's actions during the incident likely saved lives, and he was a hero in the incident. No other details were provided.

Banowetz is being held without bond.

Madison County State's Attorney Tom Gibbons said his office wanted to look into the possibility of the death penalty in this case.

“We want to see whether or not we can bring the resources of the federal government here to our community to right these wrongs to make sure to bring the most severe justice,” Gibbons said.

Illinois has not had the death penalty for years. However, Gibbons said there have been three cases in which local prosecutors have sought the death penalty at the federal level. To do so, state prosecutors have to find an aspect of the crime that could qualify it for federal charges.

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