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Napp grants motion to consume blood samples from suspect, Rolls Royce in Gori murder

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By Heather Isringhausen Gvillo | Feb 26, 2020

Timothybanowetz
Banowetz

Madison County Circuit Judge Kyle Napp granted a motion to consume blood samples over the objection of the Madison County Public Defender’s Office in the murder case of asbestos attorney Randy Gori.

On Feb. 10, Napp granted the motion filed by assistant state’s attorney Jacob Harlow to consume biological specimens found on the clothing of defendant Timothy Michael Banowetz and in Gori’s 2020 Rolls Royce Cullinan.

Harlow filed the motion on Jan. 22, stating that when Banowetz was found on Jan. 5, he had blood stains on his clothing and an injury to his right hand.

“That during the course of the investigation of the First Degree Murder of Randy Gori, several items of evidence were collected including Lab Item #20, which includes 7 (seven) individually packaged swabs of blood collected from the aforementioned 2020 Rolls Royce Cullinan,” the motion states.

The motion states the Illinois State Police requested permission to consume the blood swabs in order to perform DNA testing on blood samples labeled “Console B,” “Console D,” “Console A,” and “DR Door B.”

“That the Illinois State Police, Division of Forensic Service, has informed the State that the samples recovered from the swabs are of such a small amount, that proper DNA testing requires that the entire samples be consumed during the testing procedure,” the motion states.

On Feb. 14, Gori’s parents, Lee and Judy Gori, filed a notice of victim’s assertion of rights.

Lee Gori also included a handwritten note stating that he and Randy Johnson “would like a private session with Tom Gibbons – State Attorney to listen and answer our questions.” Johnson is believed to be a close friend of Randy Gori. 

The note had originally stated that Lee and Judy Gori wanted to meet with Gibbons, but Judy’s name was crossed out and Johnson’s name was penciled in.

Gori was found dead in his rural Edwardsville home late in the evening on Jan. 4, having been stabbed and cut. Banowetz, 28, is accused of ordering Gori and two minors to the ground and binding their hands. During the event, the suspect allegedly took cell phones from the minors and money from Gori.

During a press conference following the murder, David Vucich, who is a captain with the Madison County Sheriff’s Department and commander of the Major Case Squad activated in this case, said Banowetz had been in the home for an “extended” period of time and was not injured.

Vucich said Banowetz was found by Major Case Squad officers in a wooded area about 1,200 feet from the home.

The 2020 Rolls Royce SUV Cullinan that Banowetz allegedly stole after the crime was found on an unpaved roadway off Zika Lane.

Banowetz is being charged with three alternative counts of first degree murder, three counts of armed robbery, and three counts of aggravated unlawful restraint. He is also being charged with an offense related to a motor vehicle.

He pleaded not guilty to the charges. 

The State’s Attorney’s Office filed an answer to Banowetz’s motion for discovery compliance on Jan. 29, disclosing “any material and information required to be disclosed … that is within possession or control of the People of the State of Illinois.”

It also filed a motion for discovery, asking for the inspection of any evidence, reports, or expert statements in the public defender’s possession.

The State’s Attorney’s Office asked if the defendant “intends to prove an alibi, specific information as to the place where he maintains he was at the time of the alleged offense.”

In a motion for identification, the State’s Attorney’s Office asked the court to require Banowetz to submit to identification procedures such as being physically present at the trial for purpose of identification, appear in a line up, speak for identification by witnesses, try on articles of clothing, permit the taking of specimens of material under his fingernails, permit the taking of samples of his blood, hair and other materials of his body, provide samples of his handwriting, pose for photographs, be fingerprinted, and submit to a reasonable physical inspection of his body.

Assistant public defender Neil Hawkins filed an answer to a motion for discovery on Jan. 31, stating that the state’s attorney is unable to prove the defendant is guilty of each and every element of the crime beyond a reasonable doubt.

The motion states that Banowetz has not decided if he will choose to be present at the trial.

It also states that all evidence and reports the defendant intends to use as at a hearing or trial or as impeachment are available for inspection in the public defender’s office.

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Madison County Public DefenderMadison County State's Attorney's Office