Judge orders up to $10,000 from county to aid Bliefnick defense
QUINCY (WGEM) - Judge Robert Adrian has ordered up to $10,000 in Adams County money to help aid the defense of Timothy Bliefnick.
Timothy Bliefnick has pleaded not guilty to charges of first-degree murder and home invasion in connection with the death of his estranged wife, Rebecca Bliefnick.
Adrian’s order Wednesday comes on the heels of an Adams County probate court’s ruling Tuesday that effectively cut off Timothy Bliefnick’s access to his and Rebecca Bliefnick’s estate.
Casey Schack, attorney for Timothy Bliefnick, argued Wednesday that the probate court’s move left the defendant indigent and unable to help pay for his defense.
“He could not buy a Snickers bar from the commissary if he wanted to,” Schnack argued. She asked for $10,000 from the county to pay for a private investigator and other expenses.
Joshua Jones, lead trial attorney for the Adams County State’s Attorney’s Office, said he had no objection to the county providing financial assistance for Timothy Bliefnick’s defense, but “I think $10,000 at this point seems like an excessive amount.”
Adrian ordered $5,000 to be paid to Schnack’s firm to pay for expenses, as well as another $5,000 in reserve for expenses that would be billed to the county. Adrian’s order was contingent upon Timothy Bliefnick filling out an affidavit of assets and liabilities, which he did during.
During the hearing, Schnack also asked for copies of files of the Bliefnicks’ divorce case, which has been ongoing for years. Those files have been impounded by the Quincy Police Department.
Schnack argued that having to go to Quincy police whenever she wanted to review the files created a burden on the defense.
“The state is essentially hamstringing our access to the information,” Schnack argued.
Jones argued that making copies of the files would be difficult for the State’s Attorney’s Office.
“This is not a divorce file that is 100 pages,” Jones argued, saying that he conservative estimated 10,000 pages in the files. “We don’t have the ability to make copies of tens of thousands of pages.”
Adrian ordered the state to give the complete files to Schnack by the end of the day Thursday, giving her until end of the day April 28 to make copies and return the materials to QPD.
Timothy Bliefnick was arrested March 13 and remains held without bond in the Adams County Jail.
On Feb. 23, police found Rebecca Bliefnick, 41, dead at her home in the 2500 block of Kentucky Road with multiple gunshot wounds.
A hearing is set for April 19 for Adrian to rule on a request from local news organizations, including WGEM, to unseal motions in the case.
A hearing set for April 20 on evidentiary matters is expected to last most of the day and will remain closed, and those motions will remain under seal.
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