Suspect charged in the death of prominent Illinois lawyer

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EDWARDSVILLE, Ill. (AP) — Murder charges were filed Monday against a man suspected in the death of a prominent Illinois attorney.

Timothy Michael Banowetz, 28, of Wentzville, Missouri, is charged with first-degree murder in the death of Randy Gori, 47, of Edwardsville, Illinois. Gori’s body was found Saturday in his home. Authorities refused to release additional details surrounding the circumstances of Gori’s death.

Investigators with the Major Case Squad of Greater St. Louis say they believe Banowetz’s actions were premediated, but they haven’t been able to determine if the suspect and Gori were acquainted or had prior contact.

Major Case Deputy Commander David Vucich said there were two children inside Gori’s home at the time of the attack. He said Gori took actions during the incident that likely saved lives, but didn’t supply details.

“I think Randy was a hero in this case,” Vucich said.

During their investigation of Gori’s death, authorities determined his black Rolls Royce was taken from the home. It was recovered Sunday from a wooded area near Gori’s home, with Banowetz loitering nearby.

Authorities said Banowetz lived a transient lifestyle, with his movement centered around the St. Louis area. Edwardsville is located across the Mississippi River from St. Louis.

“When (violent criminals) come to Madison County, they get Madison County justice,” said State’s Attorney Tom Gibbons. “And true justice will be served in this case.”

It wasn’t immediately known if Banowetz, for whom bond hasn’t been set, has obtained legal representation.

The Gori Law Firm specializes in asbestos litigation nationwide, and the firm has secured more than $3 billion in compensation for clients. In addition to the law firm, Gori also founded a real estate and property management company.

The city of Edwardsville said last month it planned to name its new ice rink the Gori Family Ice Complex after Gori donated to the project.

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