[Warning: Potentially Triggering Content]
A Floridian who raised money after his husband was murdered has now been charged with murder!!
According to the Marion County Sheriff’s Office on Friday, 55-year-old Herbert Swilley was charged with first-degree murder in connection with his husband’s death Timothy Smithwho was found dead in her home by authorities in Ocala, Florida, in March.
According to the arrest affidavit PeopleWhen Herbert found Timothy’s Jeep in front of one of their two houses on March 24, he applied for welfare. He claimed it was the day after he last saw his husband, who didn’t show up for work. The next day, police went to the apartment and found the 59-year-old “naked from the waist down” on a bed. He suffered “blunt trauma injuries to his face and possibly his genital area.” He also had ligature marks on his neck. An autopsy determined he died of asphyxia, a condition in which the body is deprived of oxygen, and a fracture of the cervical spine.
When the death was announced, a GoFundMe A page was set up for the widower where he raised thousands of dollars, raising at least $2,235 of a goal of $7,500, according to the outlet. We bet these kind donors will feel bad knowing who their money is going to now! Oof!!
Related: American couple who tortured foster child in Uganda will…pay a fine?!
How was Herbert charged? After a lengthy investigation, authorities finally found enough evidence to charge the husband with first-degree intentional murder and one count of tampering with evidence, prison records show.
According to a sheriff’s department statement, the victim was administered “a large amount of diphenhydramine (an ingredient in Benadryl and Unisom) that was 30 times higher than the normal therapeutic dose.” He was then allegedly suffocated and killed by Swilley in his own vehicle transported “from their shared residence to a nearby residence that they maintained.” The statement continued:
“That’s where Swilley placed Timothy’s body, staged a crime scene, and attempted to destroy evidence with household cleaners. Swilley returned to her apartment and then drove Timothy’s vehicle to the apartment where he parked it. Swilley then went back to her apartment, where he accessed her Ring camera application; Investigators later learned that there was no surveillance video from that night. Then, a few hours later, Swilley drove to the landfill, where he apparently dropped off two rugs from their home before going about his day.”
Wow. Unfortunately, many of her friends were also concerned about this man’s alleged behavior leading up to the murder. In the affidavit, an officer pointed out that a mutual friend interviewed during the investigation claimed Swilley had a history of violent outbursts, bad tempers and made “death threats.” They also claimed that Timothy said he was tired of looking after Herbert. Hmmm.
Elsewhere in the legal documents, several other friends made comments about Swilley’s bad temper, with two expressing fear of retaliation for speaking to authorities. According to the investigation, police believe that “Timothy was also previously subjected to domestic violence by Swilley.” As for motives, money was another key indicator, police revealed:
“It was also learned that Timothy was close to securing a new job in another county and planned to move there without Swilley. “Investigators also determined that Swilley stood to benefit from Timothy’s death because he was listed as the beneficiary of Timothy’s life insurance policies, which totaled $333,000.”
Also suspicious?? Herbert was initially willing to talk to investigators, but they soon realized that many of the things Swilley told investigators were false, self-serving, or contradicted by other evidence. Herbert quickly hired a lawyer and refused to speak to authorities in the future. His lawyer “also indicated that he will only cooperate if he is granted immunity from prosecution for Timothy’s murder,” police said in a statement in August when they named him as a suspect (the same day the husband submitted one message to Facebook in honor of the couple’s anniversary). Good Lord.
Jordan Swilley, Herbert’s daughter, was also named as a person of interest and she also declined to speak further with investigators after giving “a preliminary statement.” At the moment it doesn’t look like she has been accused of anything.
Herbert is currently being held without bail and is expected to appear in court next month. His lawyer, Gail Grossman, has not commented. Watch the suspected murderer being taken into custody (below):
What a wild turn of events. Too bad it’s always the husband. Sigh.
If you or someone you know is experiencing domestic violence, help is available. Consider calling the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 800-799-7233 or text START to 88788 or go to https://www.thehotline.org/.
[Image via Marion County Sheriff’s Office/Facebook]