An Illinois jury has found Timothy Bliefnick guilty on all charges in the murder trial of a former "Family Feud" contestant accused of killing his estranged wife, an accomplished nurse and fixture in her local church, amid a grueling divorce and custody battle.
Bliefnick, who lived about a mile away from his wife after they separated, was accused of breaking into Rebecca "Becky" Postle Bliefnick's home through a second-story window and shooting her 14 times.
Prosecutors alleged that he researched ways to commit the crime on Google, rode to her house on a bicycle, pried open the window with a crowbar and shot her dead.
Jury selection in the courthouse in Quincy took place last Monday. The trial lasted just over a week, with a break for Memorial Day, before closing arguments Wednesday.
Postle Bliefnick's father found her body on Feb. 23, according to prosecutors.
Police arrested her husband on March 13, almost two weeks after they served a search warrant at his home.
In court, prosecutors revealed that investigators retrieved dozens of shell casings in the basement that the state police lab found were fired from the same gun as eight recovered from the crime scene.
Police did not find the murder weapon - but Postle Bliefnick's handgun was missing, and Illinois State Police forensics expert Vickie Reels said it was among several weapon models that could have matched the recovered casings.
Postle Bliefnick's sister also 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."
But Bliefnick's defense attorney, Casey Schnack, countered that there was not enough evidence to prove her client committed the crime beyond a reasonable doubt.
The prosecution's case was "dripping with sympathy" and "lacking in any hard evidence," she said during her closing arguments.
"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 DNA evidence and surveillance video that she argued only showed an unidentifiable person in the area.
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.