Timothy Smith was protecting his wife from a “400-pound goon” when he accidentally shot and killed the man who came to have sex with her for money, his defense attorney said in a McHenry County courtroom this week.
But prosecutors rebutted that it was no accident and Smith is a liar who has rewritten history of the facts of the night. They said he is, in fact, guilty of first-degree murder and deserves to be resentenced to 50 years in prison.
Smith, 34, whose first conviction in 2013 was reversed on appeal, is again standing trial for the murder of Kurt Milliman. Authorities said he and his then pregnant wife, Kimberly Smith, had for about six months been posting ads on Craigslist offering sex for money with her.
On May 28, 2011 Milliman, 48, responded to one of those ads after exchanging messages with the Smiths arranging the meeting. Believing Timothy Smith was not at the home, Milliman arrived just after 11 p.m..
As Timothy Smith hid in a separate room, as he said he typically did when customers came to meet his wife, Kimberly Smith led Milliman to a back bedroom. The sex act started but soon Kimberly Smith decided she did not want to complete the act and showed the Spring Grove man to the door.
This is where things turned violent.
Milliman grabbed the woman and slapped her, she yelled out “Baby help me.” Timothy Smith quickly emerged from the room, ran out into the hallway with a loaded handgun and shot hm.
In closing arguments Matthew Haiduk said his client should be found guilty of lesser charges of involuntary manslaughter or second degree murder.
Haiduk said Smith was scared and protecting his wife from a “400-pound knuckle dragger” who was violent, had her “pinned against the wall … intent on having his way with her.”
“Kurt Milliman is twice the size of Tim Smith … he is bigger than most NFL players. He wore an XXXX L (shirt) … This is not a normal dude,” Haiduk said to Judge Sharon Prather who will announce her decision on the case Aug. 30. “This is a monster manhandling his wife because he didn’t get to have sex with her. … He had bad intentions. He was gonna get what he wants to get.”
Haiduk also said Milliman was shot from inches away as Tim Smith tried with his other hand to grab Milliman off of his wife. From the stand Wednesday Smith said the shooting was an accident.
Tim Smith and his wife also made a false report to 911 frantically saying there was an intruder in their home. The prosecution took issue with this saying that this false report showed “consciousness of guilty.”
Prosecutors also argued that rather than rush Milliman to the hospital which was less than a mile away Smith made attempts to cover up the crime and hide the computer on which the illicit arrangements were made. They said his emotions on the 911 call were fake.
To this Haiduk said though his words may have been a lie, Smith did not “manufacture emotion.”
“He’s scared to death,” Haiduk said. “This is a tragedy for everybody involved. Tim Smith did not intend to kill Kurt Milliman.”
But Assistant State’s Attorney Robert Zalud rebutted Haiduk’s arguments saying the state did prove that this is first-degree murder. Zalud said all the state needs to prove is that Smith pulled the trigger knowing it would cause great bodily harm. He noted expert testimony that the gun was not shot by accident because it would have taken 12 pounds of pressure to shoot it, according to Julie Steele from the Illinois State Police. Prosecutors also cited expert testimony that Milliman was shot from about two feet away, not inches as the defense claimed.
Zalud poked holes in Smith’s statement that he was scared for his wife in that moment of shooting Milliman, when earlier in the evening he wasn’t scared to let him go to a back bedroom with her for sex.
“This idea the gun just went off doesn’t make sense,” Zalud said. “He shot him right in the back .. He shot an unarmed man who he invited into his house … staged a break in scene … made a false 911 call …” and continued to lie during a six hour police interview.
“If he felt justified in shooting him he would have come clean right away,” Zalud said. “Tim Smith is a dangerous revisionist historian and he’s a murderer. … Kurt Milliman didn’t have a gun, knife, never knew Tim Smith was there … (Smith) overreacted. He ran around the corner and shot him in the back. Killed him without any thought. … Tim Smith is not the victim here.”
Smith was convicted by a jury in 2013 but his conviction was overturned on appeal because Prather, who also oversaw that trial, failed to instruct the jury they could consider the lesser charge of involuntary manslaughter. Timothy Smith started off the week going through jury selection but suddenly changed his mind and opted for bench trial. The Smiths have since divorced.
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