QUINCY, Ill. (KHQA) — 9 AM: The six men and six women who will decide the fate of murder suspect Tim Bliefnick entered the courtroom. Bliefnick made eye contact with the jury members as they walked in.
Today is day two of the Bliefnick murder trial. Opening arguments are set to being at 9 a.m.
Tim Bliefnick is charged with two counts of first-degree murder and one count of home invasion in the death of his estranged wife, Rebecca.
Bliefnick is sitting beside his lawyers in the courtroom. He wore blue khakis and a light blue button-up shirt with a tie. Judge Adrian entered the courtroom around 8:40 a.m. this morning.
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We are in the courtroom and will update you throughout the day. We expect to hear from witnesses after opening arguments. Check this story throughout the day for updates.
9:23 AM: "The last minutes of Becky Bliefnick’s life were not in the arms of her children," said Adams County Assistant State’s Attorney Josh Jones in his opening statement in People vs. Tim Bliefnick. Jones says Tim Bliefnick shot his estranged wife 14 times in her home in Quincy.
9:44 AM: Rebecca (Becky) Bliefnick texted a family member saying if anything happened to her, it was Tim Bliefnick. Tim Bliefnick told Rebecca (Becky) she would not get his money as the two were going through a divorce, according to prosecutor Josh Jones.
Prosecutor Josh Jones said all bullets fired were by the same gun. Eight shell casings were found near Rebecca's (Becky) body.
The defense, Casey Schnack, objected during Jones' opening statement. The lawyers and judge stepped out of the courtroom to discuss the objection.
Before stepping into the judge’s chamber, the prosecutor said 27 shell casings were also found in the defendant’s basement. He said they match the type of casings found near Rebecca (Becky) Bliefnick’s body.
9:54 AM: Prosecutor Josh Jones said Tim Bliefnick’s internet search history included how to use a crowbar, how to make a homemade silencer, police response times, how to open a window from the outside, using a crowbar, and how to wash gunpowder from your hands.
10 AM: Prosecutor Josh Jones said Tim Bliefnick climbed into the second story of Rebecca (Becky) Bliefnick’s home, busted through a window using a crowbar, and shot her 14 times leaving her “terrified, bleeding, and alone.
Tim Bliefnick has shown no emotion so far during the prosecutor’s opening statement that described in detail how Rebecca (Becky) Bliefnick was murdered according to the state’s evidence.
10:17 AM: Prosecutor Josh Jones said in his opening statement that leading up to the murder, about a week before, a person is seen on video riding a bike from the direction of the defendant’s house to the direction of the victim’s house.
Defense attorney Casey Schnack began her opening statement at 10 a.m.
Schnack told the jury “You can’t tell who’s on the bike” from the videos. Schnack said evidence will not show beyond a reasonable doubt that Tim Bliefnick committed the murder.
10:33 AM: Before a brief recess, the defense said evidence such as the crowbar and a footprint left on the carpet in Becky’s home are inconclusive. Schnack said the prosecution didn’t consider another suspect besides Tim Bliefnick because of motive.
10:39 AM: Prosecutor Jones called the first witness. William Postle is on the stand. He’s Rebecca (Becky) Bliefnick’s father. Becky was the youngest of two daughters.
Postle said on the day his daughter was murdered, he received a text from Tim Bliefnick. The text asksed Postle to call Becky to see if she’s going to pick up their three boys from Tim Bliefnick’s house.
Postle said after getting the text from the defendant, he went to Becky’s house. At Becky’s house, the door was open, and that alarmed him. He called her name. He searched for her and found her body on a bathroom floor. He felt for a heartbeat, but rigor mortis had set in.
The prosecution showed a photo of Becky’s body asking Postle if that’s how he found his daughter on the floor in the bathroom. Postle said yes. He completed his testimony.
10:55 AM: The second witness is Rolla Wike, a neighbor of Rebecca (Becky) Bliefnick. Bill Postle ran to Wike’s home after he found Becky’s body. Postle forgot his cell when he went to Becky’s house, so he used Wike’s phone to call 911, according to Wike.
11:05 AM: St. Peter School secretary is the third witness on the stand. The Bliefnick’s three sons attend the school. She testified that Tim Bliefnick called to say he couldn’t get ahold of Rebecca (Becky), so he was picking up the boys. This occurred on the day Becky was killed.
11:14 AM: The fourth witness called is Brian Lash, who lived directly across the street from Rebecca (Becky) Bliefnick.
He testified he didn’t see or hear anything unusual on Feb. 22. He said on the morning of Feb. 23, Becky’s door was open and he said that was unusual.
1:00 PM: The lunch recess is over. So far, seven witnesses have testified in the Bliefnick murder trial.
1:14 PM: Taylor Heimann, Becky’s neighbor, testified that he has cameras on his home. He said his cameras caught video on Feb. 14 of a person walking on/near his driveway. He said he can’t tell anything about the person such as if it was a man or woman. 12:37 a.m. is when the video was captured.
1:25 PM: Heimann’s security video was played from Feb. 22 at 1:05 a.m. A person walked up the driveway. At 1:53 a.m. video showed a person walking away from the driveway. He said the person is not identifiable.
1:27 PM: Ted Johnson, dating Becky, met her in Jan. 2022. They became romantically involved summer of 2022. He said Becky’s divorce was not going well— very tense. “She was looking forward to it being done.”
Ted Johnson testified about texts between him and Becky. On Feb. 14, he spent the night at Becky’s house. He parked behind the house, near the driveway. “Did you and Becky have sex that night? Josh Jones asks. He replied yes. Johnson choked up when talking about the last time he saw Becky.
On Feb 23, Becky’s sister messaged Johnson to ask him to call. She broke the news about Becky’s death, according to his testimony.
1:43 PM: Johnson said he was not exclusively dating Becky, but he was not having sex with anyone else.
He testified he was holding a bag for Becky in his safe. He said he didn’t know what was in it when the defense asked him if he knew $13,000 was in the bag.
Johnson said he did not have a key to Becky’s house. Johnson said the day before Becky was killed, he didn’t go to Becky’s house. He said the night she was murdered, he doesn’t recall if he left his house.
1:55 PM: Matt Hermsmeier, Quincy Police officer, testified. He was called to assist with Becky's death investigation. He arrived at 3:33 p.m.
Hermsmeier testified he was told it could be a suicide, but when he saw shell casings and damage to the door that was broken, he said he knew it wasn’t a suicide.
A photo showed wood splinters on the floor from the door and spent shell casings in Becky’s home when and where her body was found. Officer Hermsmeier confirmed that’s what he saw. Hermsmeier said behind the broken door was a cell phone on the floor.
2:07 PM: Hermsmeier said he saw Becky’s body on the bathroom floor.
He said he noticed several small pieces of plastic around her body. He said there appeared to be a towel in her underwear in the genital area. Hermsmeier said the crotch in Becky’s pants was not torn, rather they were designed without a crotch.
During the defense cross-examination of Hermsmeier, he said there were about a dozen officers at Becky’s home that day. He also said he didn’t talk to neighbors or Tim Bliefnick that day.
2:25 PM: Prior to a break, jurors were shown pictures of Becky’s body. Becky’s family appeared to put their heads down and some teared up.
While pictures and video were shown, Tim Bliefnick occasionally turned around for quick glances. He appeared attentive but unemotional.
2:41 PM: Sarah Reilly, Becky’s sister was called to testify. When asked if she has siblings, Reilly’s voice broke when she answered, "Becky Postle Bliefnick." She said she and her sister were very close.
Reilly said Becky told her about the impending divorce. Reilly said her sister wanted to stay together with Tim Bliefnick for the boys and wanted him to go to counseling.
2:48 PM: Reilly testified that Becky often posted on Facebook about her sons. The prosecution asked about texts from Sept. 2021. It was a text from Becky to Reilly in which Becky said she “Feared for her life.”
Becky sent her sister a text in 2021: “If something ever happens to me, make sure the number one person of interest is Tim. I am putting this in writing that I'm fearful he will somehow harm me." Becky’s sister gets choked up when talking about the day she learned Becky died.
The defense asked Reilly when she last saw Tim. She said she hasn’t seen him since 2019. Reilly said she’s never witnessed Tim and Becky fight. When Reilly talked to her mom on Feb. 23, she said her mom didn’t know anything aside from the fact that Becky died. During cross-examination, Reilly testified she did not forward the text message to her parents or police before Becky was killed.
2:58 PM: No more witnesses today. Judge Adrian said testimony went quicker than expected, so the court was recessed for the rest of the day.
The jury is asked to return at 8:45 a.m. tomorrow. Judge Adrian reminded the jury not to discuss the case with anyone and to avoid reading or watching anything about this case.