Timothy Bliefnick has been found guilty of murdering his estranged wife – three years after he made a disturbing joke about his marriage on a game show Family Enemy.
A jury returned its verdict Wednesday after a weeklong trial in Illinois, in which prosecutors said Bliefnick, 40, broke into the home of Rebecca “Becky” Bliefnick on February 23 and shot her 14 times.
The former couple was locked in divorce proceedings and a bitter custody battle over their three sons at the time.
On March 13, Bliefnick was arrested and charged with two counts of first-degree murder and one count of home invasion.
Becky’s body was discovered by her father William Postle after his family became concerned when the 41-year-old failed to pick up his children from school.
Testifying in Adam County Court on 23 May, Mr Postle said Bliefnick had texted him to check if Becky was planning to take their children.
He also told jurors that the front door of Becky’s house was open, which he said was unusual. He found his daughter in the bathroom and reportedly rushed to a neighbor’s house to call 911, because he had forgotten his phone.
During opening arguments, Adams County Assistant State’s Attorney Josh Jones said Becky, who was a travel nurse, spent her final moments “terrified, bleeding, and alone”.
Prosecutors said shell casings found near Becky’s body matched casings found at Bliefnick’s home. They allege DNA evidence also ties him to the crime scene, as an Aldi bag the killer used as a gun silencer was found in Becky’s home.
Another Aldi bag with Becky’s DNA was recovered from Bliefnick’s home.
Becky’s sister Sarah Reilly testified that the mother-of-three had previously expressed her fear that Bliefnick would “somehow harm me”.
Becky’s message read: “I am writing this because I am afraid that he will harm me, follow me, or try to [do] something for me that keeps me away from the children or the children from me.
“He has lied so many times to paint himself as a victim and I as the perpetrator when it is completely the opposite.”
Becky also filed a restraining order against Bliefnick, before she decided to file one against him as well.
One of Becky’s friends testified that Bliefnick told her that “he was already dead [having] any of the [his] money”.
Bliefnick’s conviction comes three years after his 2020 appearance on the game show hosted by Steve Harvey became the talk of his hometown of Quincy, Illimois. Answering one of the quick questions, Bliefnick joked that the worst mistake he made on his wedding night was saying “I do” to his wife.
After Mr Harvey joked Bliefnick had “hell to pay”, the now-convicted killer made it clear he loved his wife Becky.
A year later, Bliefnick and Becky filed for divorce after 13 years of marriage.
Bliefnick is scheduled to be sentenced on August 11. He faces 45 years to life in prison.