Bliefnick divorce details come out during day 2 of jury trial

The jury trial of Timothy Bliefnick continued Wednesday morning.
Published: May. 24, 2023 at 8:50 AM CDT|Updated: May. 24, 2023 at 3:23 PM CDT
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QUINCY (WGEM) - The jury trial of Timothy Bliefnick, the Quincy man being charged with fatally shooting his estranged wife continued Wednesday morning at 9 a.m.

Rebecca Bliefnick’s attorney testifies

Wednesday morning’s proceedings in the murder case of Timothy Bliefnick began with Rebecca Bliefnick’s divorce attorney taking the stand.

Dennis ”Denny” Woodworth represented Rebecca from April 2021 to November of that same year.

During Adams County Assistant State’s Attorney Josh Jones’ examination, Woodworth said there were temporary orders filed at the beginning of the divorce.

Certain requests included that Timothy Bliefnick return a 9mm handgun to Rebecca. Woodworth said that never happened.

Further requests included that Timothy’s father, Ray Bliefnick, have no unsupervised contact with a minor. Ray Bliefnick appears in court this morning and is also on the witness list.

An order of injunction filed in 2021 states that neither Timothy or Rebecca can visit each other’s home without consent or unless they are exchanging their children.

Woodworth said he’s represented clients in thousands of divorces over the course of his entire law career.

He said he never had a client prior to Rebecca being murdered.

He said Rebecca purchased a gun safe as she had an interest in owning a firearm, specifically to protect herself from her husband.

Woodworth said Rebecca had complained about Timothy’s “episodes” but never filed any restrictions, only a petition to retain the marital home on Kentucky Road.

When Woodworth began to represent Rebecca, the two had already separated physically.

The divorce was never finalized before Rebecca’s death on Feb. 23. Exactly three months ago from the start of this week’s murder trial.

Rebecca Bliefnick’s former co-worker: She talked about the divorce regularly

Sara Murphy, who currently works as a nurse at Blessing Hospital, was co-workers with Rebecca Bliefnick for about a year. When they first began working together in 2022, they worked together very frequently.

Before Rebecca’s death, the two worked together around once or twice per week. During their time as co-workers, Murphy claims Rebecca talked frequently about her ongoing divorce with Timothy Bliefnick.

She never took Rebecca’s “venting” as a red flag. Murphy wishes she would have.

Murphy said Rebecca told her that if anything ever happened, to make sure Tim was looked at. Before Murphy could give the account of one of her last conversations with Rebecca, counsel and Judge Robert Adrian went behind closed doors, as Bliefnick’s attorney Casey Schnack made several objections during Murphy’s testimony.

Part of Schnack’s objection to Murphy’s account was overruled, part of it was sustained.

Court reconvened within five minutes. Murphy said Rebecca mentioned Timothy was tired of playing her “stupid little games.”

Murphy didn’t know Timothy and never hung out with Rebecca outside of work.

Court went into morning recess following Murphy’s testimony. She was released from her subpoena.

Rebecca Bliefnick’s second divorce attorney: ‘The divorce was very contentious’

Denny Woodworth represented Rebecca Bliefnick in her divorce for roughly seven months. In November 2021, Gerald Timmerwilke took over.

In Timmerwilke’s testimony, he said Rebecca was the primary parent at the time of her death. In the year leading up to her death, Timmerwilke said Timothy Bliefnick filed a request ahead of a divorce trial, which never took place.

The requests include a 60/40 custody agreement in favor of Timothy, that he pay no child support, that he take possession of the marital home on Kentucky Road and that his father be granted unsupervised contact with the three children.

Timmerwilke said the portion of the request including Timothy’s father was non-negotiable, that he never have unsupervised access to the children. Up until Rebecca’s death, the two practiced a 50/50 agreement. At the time of Rebecca’s death, Timothy was living in a house on Hampshire Street.

Timmerwilke believed he and Rebecca were ready for trial. In the months leading up to her death, Timothy and Rebecca had to remain within 3 feet of their vehicles when exchanging children.

“The divorce was very contentious,” Timmerwilke said

Timmerwilke said when he took over Rebecca’s case, Timothy had still not returned the 9mm handgun Rebecca had requested. She then requested the fair market value of the handgun of roughly $800.

Bliefnick children’s guardian ad litem (GAL) testifies

While Tim and Rebecca Bliefnick continued an ongoing divorce, the court appointed a guardian ad litem, or GAL to the case. The job of a GAL is to represent the best interest of the children involved. In this case, the Bliefnick divorce involved three children.

Rick Zimmerman has been a GAL for 3 years and was appointed in this particular case.

During Zimmerman’s testimony, he said he spoke with the Bliefnick children and both parents. He said there was clear animosity on both sides. Conversations with Timothy Bliefnick he said involved how he strongly wanted to have more parenting time than Rebecca.

Conversations with Rebecca, he said, involved her strongly opposing Timothy’s father having unsupervised contact with the children.

“They made mountains out of ant hills,” Zimmerman said.

During cross-examination by Bliefnick’s attorney, Casey Schnack, Zimmerman said he saw no red flags and believed there were no safety issues with either parent in regard to the children spending time with either of them. He believes the two could have worked out a custody agreement.

Timothy Bliefnick’s next-door neighbor

Wednesday afternoon began with testimony from Timothy Bliefnick’s next-door neighbor at the time of Rebecca Bliefnick’s death. Kelley Lepley, who now lives in Pennsylvania, lived in Quincy for around one year.

Lepley said she would go over to Timothy’s house and he would come over to hers, having sexual relations. Text messages that were exchanged from Lepley and Bliefnick shown to the jury indicate the two conversed on the afternoon of Feb. 22. She spent roughly 30 minutes at Bliefnick’s home and left.

Lepley didn’t know what Timothy did after. She claims they never went to each other’s homes when the Bliefnick children were in Timothy’s possession.

She was released from her subpoena.

QPD investigator takes the stand

Quincy Police Sgt. James Brown told counsel Wednesday afternoon that an ABT home alert system indicated the front door of Rebecca Bliefnick’s home was opened at 1:12 a.m. on Feb. 23. Another alert recorded the door was still open at 1:27 a.m.

In Tuesday’s court proceedings, several Kentucky Road residents said they saw the same door open that morning as well.

Brown was part of the team that seized Bliefnick’s cell phone and WHOOP wristband on March 1. That was the same day police searched his Hampshire Street home.

Brown confirmed at around 3 p.m. on Feb. 23, the day Rebecca was found dead, her father Bill Postle tried to call Timothy. Similarly, Timothy attempted to call Postle more than an hour later.

Postle testified on Tuesday.

Two of Rebecca Bliefnick’s closest friends share her concern about her life

Nicole Bateman and Rebecca Bliefnick were friends since birth. Bateman lived in Quincy until she was 20-years old. After moving to Decatur, she kept in touch with Rebecca via cell phone.

Text messages shown to the jury between Bateman and Bliefnick indicated Bliefnick feared for her life.

“I’m afraid of what he (Timothy) might do,” the text read.

Subsequently, “He (Timothy) told me if I outed his dad that he (Ray) would probably have to move then kill himself,” the text read.

Before Bateman, Christine Moore took the stand. Moore’s husband is a doctor at Blessing Hospital and was also friends with Rebecca Bliefnick. She said her and Bliefnick would call and text.

One text from Bliefnick to Moore said the defendant shoved her, screamed at her, punched a hole in the wall and threw things in front of the kids. The text also said Bliefnick was seriously considering filing an order of protection against her estranged husband.

QPD officials receive a phone call on Feb. 10

13 days before Rebecca Bliefnick was found dead in her home, her estranged husband Timothy Bliefnick made a call to Quincy Police Department. He was under court order to return a 9mm handgun to Rebecca, and it appears this was his attempt to do so.

Records Supervisor Amanda Keck picked up the phone, and the man identified himself as Timothy Bliefnick. Keck accounts during her testimony that Bliefnick said he had a gun he needed to return to his soon-to-be ex-wife, however, he didn’t want to give it to her face-to-face.

During cross-examination by Casey Schnack, Keck said Bliefnick did not specify what gun it was that he had to return. Keck then transferred the phone call to Lt. Shannon Pilkington, who then took the stand.

Pilkington testified that Bliefnick said Rebecca finally had a way to safely conceal the gun by way of a gun safe. Pilkington then said he didn’t believe it was feasible for QPD to return the gun for him

Pilkington was the 13th and final witness to take the stand on Wednesday. The jury has heard from 23 witnesses so far.

Wednesday’s session ended just after 3 p.m.

Live Tweets

No media outlets will be allowed to broadcast or stream the trial live. However, WGEM News will be in the courtroom throughout the trial and will live blog via Twitter throughout the trial


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