Man arrested for overdosing, strangling husband, staging crime scene 7 months ago, detectives say

Man arrested for overdosing, strangling husband, staging crime scene 7 months ago, detectives say

(As originally published with video and additional photos, Tue, November 7th 2023, 2:55 PM EST)

OCALA, Fla. (TND) — Detectives in Florida arrested a man for the murder of his husband, and they said it was the end of a relationship full of domestic violence.

Herbert Swilley, 55, was arrested Friday morning but the murder happened back in March.

On March 25, deputies with the Marion County Sheriff’s Office went to an apartment in Ocala for a well-being check on 59-year-old Timothy Floyd Smith, who hadn’t shown up at work the day before.

They found his body when they made it inside and reported it

”had a dark ligature mark on his neck and blunt-force trauma to his face and genitalia.”

The investigation took months and detectives gathered video surveillance and electronic evidence and spoke to people who knew the couple.

They found “Timothy was dosed with a large amount of diphenhydramine — an ingredient in Benadryl and Unisom — that was 30 times higher than the normal therapeutic dose.

”Following that, Swilley murdered Timothy by choking him to death with an unknown ligature and fracturing his cervical spine.

”Swilley then used his own vehicle to transport Timothy’s body from their shared residence to a nearby apartment that they maintained. Once there, Swilley placed Timothy’s body inside, staged a fake crime scene, and attempted to destroy evidence using household cleaning agents.

“Swilley returned to their residence and then drove Timothy’s vehicle to the apartment where he left it. Swilley then walked back to their residence where he accessed their Ring camera application; investigators later learned that surveillance videos from that night were not present. Then, a few hours later, Swilley drove to the landfill where he dropped off what appeared to be two carpets from their residence before going about his day.

”The investigation revealed that Timothy had previously suffered domestic abuse by Swilley. It was also learned that Timothy was close to securing a new job in another county and was planning to relocate there without Swilley.

Man arrested for overdosing, strangling husband, staging crime scene 7 months ago, detectives say
Authorities said Herbert Swilley placed his husband Timothy’s body in an apartment, “staged a fake crime scene, and attempted to destroy evidence using household cleaning agents,” Nov. 3, 2023. (Marion Co. Sheriff’s Office)

”Investigators also uncovered that Swilley stood to profit from Timothy’s death, as he was listed as the beneficiary of Timothy’s life insurance policies, which totaled $333,000.”

Authorities said Swilley “pretended to be cooperative but the investigation revealed that many of the things Swilley told investigators were false, self-serving, or contradicted by other evidence.

”When detectives sought to reinterview Swilley about these discrepancies, Swilley’s attorney indicated that he would only cooperate if he was provided with immunity from prosecution for Timothy’s murder.”

Swilley has been charged with premeditated murder in the first degree and tampering with evidence. He’s being held in the Marion County Jail without bond.

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