Timothy Bliefnick, the former “Family Feud” contestant charged with climbing through a second-floor window at his estranged wife’s home and shooting her to death in February, declined to testify in his own defense at trial Wednesday.
Lawyers for both sides delivered their closing arguments Wednesday morning before Judge Robert Adrian gave jurors their instructions for deliberation.
Bliefnick was arrested on March 13, almost two weeks after police served a search warrant at his home – about a mile from the crime scene in Quincy, Illinois.
Prosecutor Josh Jones tore into the defense’s theory that a “prowler” in the neighborhood was responsible for the crime.
“The prowler is right here,” he said, pointing at the defendant.
He argued that Bliefnick’s search history, physical evidence and circumstantial evidence all point to the suspect’s guilt.
The prosecution’s closing arguments were “dripping with sympathy” and “lacking in any hard evidence,” said Bliefnick’s lawyer, Casey Schnack.
“The state has come up woefully short in their quest to prove Tim guilty beyond a reasonable doubt,” she told the jurors, citing a lack of concrete DNA evidence and surveillance video that she argued only showed an unidentifiable person in the area.
The local WGEM-TV and Muddy River News have provided video of the proceedings throughout the trial.
Family members found Rebecca “Becky” Postle Bliefnick dead in her home on Feb. 23. She had been shot 14 times, prosecutors later revealed.
The couple had been going through a bitterly contested divorce and a custody battle for their three sons.
Witnesses for the prosecution delivered potentially damning testimony throughout the trial. The defense didn’t call any.
Postle Bliefnick’s sister testified last week that she received a text message that read, “If something ever happens to me, make sure the No. 1 person of interest is Tim.”
“I am putting this in writing that I’m fearful he will somehow harm me, come after me, or will try to [do] something to me that takes me away from the kids or the kids away from me,” Postle Bliefnick texted her sister, Sarah Reilly, according to the latter’s testimony. “He already has lied multiple times to paint himself as a victim and me as the perpetrator when it is absolutely the other way around.”
And according to Vickie Reels, a forensics expert with the Illinois State Police, eight shell casings found at the crime scene were fired from the same gun as 27 recovered from the basement of Postle Bliefnick’s estranged husband.
Police did not find the murder weapon, however.
Prosecutors also alleged that Tim Bliefnick had conducted incriminating Google searches on how to break into a home with a crowbar and how to clean up gunshot residue.
Postle Bliefnick’s family said in a statement that relatives would not be commenting until after the jury reaches a verdict.
The family has established a GoFundMe campaign to provide for the former couple’s three sons.
Postle Bliefnick was a fixture in the local community throughout her life, according to an online obituary.
She graduated valedictorian from Quincy Notre Dame High School and went on to Quincy University.
She began her career in pharmaceuticals but finished nursing school in time for the start of the coronavirus pandemic. As a nurse, she received a Daisy Award for her service to patients.