New Information Provides Update on Gori Trial


Joel Garwood, Staff Writer

On Jan. 4, 2020, Randy Gori was found stabbed to death inside his estate in the 4500 block of Mooney Creek Lane in Edwardsville; Timothy Banowetz was later found in nearby woods with an overwhelming amount of evidence.

Gori and his two children were pulling into the driveway when Banowetz approached them with a fake gun.

He then tied up Gori and his two children, ages 13 and 15, with zip ties and robbed the estate for $4000 in cash.

According to the Madison County Sheriff’s Department, video surveillance of the attack was retrieved from Gori’s estate. Evidence showed Banowetz had a knife, fake gun and zip ties upon entrance. 

When captured, he had a map to Gori’s home and a to-do list on his person.

He was later charged with three counts of first-degree murder, three counts of armed robbery, two counts of aggravated unlawful restraint and one count of aggravated offenses relating to stolen motor vehicles.

On Oct. 6, 2021, Banowetz’s trial was set to begin. Minutes before the opening statements, he agreed to a plea deal to cap the murder sentence at a maximum of 60 years. The other charges are expected to add an extra six to 10 years.

Banowetz was said to have committed the acts of violence in hopes of securing enough money to pay for college debt. He was a student at St. Louis College of Pharmacy with an outstanding balance of over $11,000. He was on the brink of being kicked out of school, homeless and said to be frequently concerned about money. 

Gori was the owner of the Edwardsville law firm Gori and Associates. Besides the law firm, he owned Gori realtors, Gori Property Management, MedServe Record Retrieval and Madison County Title Company.

He was a known philanthropist with donations including $1 million to Saint Louis University, $2.5 million to Edwardsville for the Gori Family Ice Complex (since retracted) and the Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation.

After leaving the courtroom, Lee Gori, Randy Gori’s father, expressed that he was glad to see the trial concluded. 

“Nothing can heal the terror and loss that Timothy Banowetz has caused the Gori family and this entire community, but at least today we have some measure of justice and some measure of closure,” Madison County State’s Attorney Thomas Haine said.