Randy Gori | Prosecutor may seek death penalty for accused killer

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EDWARDSVILLE, Ill. — The Madison County state’s attorney wants to see if the federal death penalty could be imposed in the death of an Edwardsville attorney, after a spate of recent murder cases.

Madison County State’s Attorney Tom Gibbons says the request is “unusual” but not unprecedented.

“We want [suspects] to know that — if the feds are willing to step in on this — they might get an early trip to meet their maker,” Gibbons said.

Timothy Banowetz is accused in the Jan. 5 murder of Randy Gori. According to police, he tied up Gori and two children at the scene of the crime before stabbing Gori and making off in the attorney’s Rolls-Royce SUV. Banowetz was charged with murder and other charges in connection with Gori’s death last week.

Gori’s murder is one of three cases where Gibbons wants to see if the federal death penalty could be imposed, saying — in each case — suspects of crossed state lines using federal interstates before the homicides. 

Banowetz is from Wentzville, Missouri.

“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.

A police source tells 5 On Your Side investigators believe Banowetz drove his pickup to a location near the victim’s house and parked it. He then reportedly walked through a wooded area to get to the victim’s house. Meanwhile, someone spotted his truck and called the police to have it towed, according to a source close to the investigation.

The suspect drove the victim’s Rolls Royce SUV to where he had left his own truck after the murder, but it had already been towed and he couldn’t find it. He walked out of the woods as police were searching the area, the source said.

Last year, U.S. Attorneys pressed for the death penalty in a case involved the murder of University of Illinois student Yingying Zhang, though jurors instead sentenced defendant Brendt Christensen to life in prison.

Illinois banned the death penalty in 2011.

5 On Your Side’s Christine Byers contributed to this story.

You can read Gibbons’ request to federal prosecutors below:


Contact reporter Sara Machi on Facebook and Twitter.

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Editor

Editor is WebTech Group (WTG). WTG is a web hosting, design, SEO, press release distribution company and news agency located in St. Louis, Missouri. Site is owned and operate multiple news sites in the region. Our objective with STLNewsMissouri.com is to offer readers a one-stop news site for Missouri news. We aggregate news from news media across the state. We do not aggregate news from all sources. We pick from those that offer RSS feeds and pick the best with eliminating those that might produce the same news stories, written differently.
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