UPDATE: Cash-strapped student charged in Illinois lawyer’s death has ties to the Ozarks

A Missouri man charged in the killing of a prominent St. Louis-area attorney has ties to the Ozarks, according to the Springfield News-Leader.

On Wednesday, the Associated Press reported the cash-strapped 28-year-old pharmacy student, Timothy Michael Banowetz of Wentzville, had been charged in the stabbing death of a prominent Illinois attorney whose firm touts more than $3 billion in compensation for clients.

Banowetz has been charged with first-degree murder in the killing of Edwardsville, Illinois, attorney Randy Gori. He is also charged with armed robbery, vehicle theft and unlawful restraint.

Banowetz is accused of fatally stabbing the 47-year-old Gori and holding two children captive Saturday night at the attorney’s home.

Banowetz, a current student at the St. Louis College of Pharmacy, enrolled at College of the Ozarks in 2010 and graduated in 2014. He was one of the students selected by the college to travel France, Belgium and Luxembourg with World War II veterans to mark the 70th anniversary of D-Day and the Battle of the Bulge.

Capt. David Vucich with the Madison County Sheriff’s Office in Illinois, northeast of St. Louis, said, in a news release: “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.”

The evening of Jan. 4, the sheriff’s office was called to a rural home near Edwardsville, where the 47-year-old attorney lived. Gori was pronounced dead at the scene.

Investigators would not comment on any motive, but the crime also included the theft of Gori’s 2020 Rolls-Royce Cullinan SUV, along with cash and the children’s cellphones.

The sheriff’s office activated the Major Case Squad of Greater St. Louis and at least 25 investigators from different agencies are part of the case.

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